Out of Africa Entertainment, Blue Ice Films and Left Bank Pictures have started development on Madiba (working title), a six-part miniseries about Nelson Mandela.

Producers are currently in discussions with a short-list of “high-profile directors” with shooting on location in South Africa set to start later this year.

Emmy and BAFTA winner Nigel Williams (Elizabeth I, Fortysomething) is writing the six one-hour episodes.

Producers are Lance Samuels and Kweku Mandela for Out of Africa (Africa United, The Bang Bang Club); Steven Silver and Neil Tabatznik for Blue Ice (The Bang Bang Club) and Andy Harries and Marigo Kehoe for Left Bank (The Queen).

The topics to be covered in the series include his relationship with his mother, his engagement with political activism, his imprisonment, his Nobel Peace Prize win and his election as president of South Africa.

Source material for the project includes two books written by Mandela — Conversations with Myself and Nelson Mandela By Himself. The team has also been granted access to the archives of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

“Two extensive research trips have already been completed to compile information on his life,” said Andy Harries. “This means we will be capturing the complex and tumultuous world Mandela lived in, as well as a number of other great people who surrounded and worked with him and helped make him the great man that he is.”

“There have been many documentaries and features about Mandela, but this will be the definitive story,” added Lance Samuels. “Other projects have captured a moment in Mandela’s life and not taken the time to explore the man in detail. We elected to do a six-hour miniseries to fully explore the man, the myth and the legacy.”