Bishop T.D. Jakes has announced that he will serve as executive producer of “Winnie,” a biopic starring Jennifer Hudson and Terrance Howard based on the love story of Nelson and Winnie Mandela.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jakes’ company TDJ Enterprises/TDJ Independents will help to develop the film’s domestic marketing and distribution plans. The company will also produce “A Million Colours,” which was the opening film at this year’s Hollywood Black Film Festival.
“Stories like ‘Winnie’ and ‘A Million Colours’ are important historically and socially,” Jakes told The Hollywood Reporter. “Collaborations like this offer us a unique ability to provide the global community to a window into African culture through the creation of quality content.”
Hudson stars as the title character in the film and Howard will play her love interest, South African politician Nelson Mandela. The biopic was directed by Darrell Roodt and focuses on the pair’s relationship in the midst of political turmoil and struggle under the Apartheid system.
The film’s screenplay was based on the book, “Winnie Mandela: A Life.”
Jakes, leader of the Dallas-based mega-church The Potters House, holds a first-look deal with Sony and served as the producer of the 2011 comedy “Jumping the Broom” and the upcoming film “Sparkle.”
After the Mandela biopic was shot last year, Winnie Mandela announced that she wasn’t supporting the film because no one had approached her during production.
“I have absolutely nothing against Jennifer, but I have everything against the movie itself,” Mandela told CNN. “I was not consulted. I am still alive, and I think it is a total disrespect to come to South Africa, make a movie about my struggle and call that movie some translation of a romantic life of Winnie Mandela.”
A rep for Hudson told CNN that the singer and actress would have loved to meet Mandela, but producers warned against it to uphold the integrity of the book on which the movie is based.
A release date for the film has not been announced.