In what was definitely a well-timed publicity stunt that had long been discussed, the trailer for Idris Elba's star turn as Nelson Mandela was released in cinemas (and later online) the coincide with the former South African ruler's 95th birthday this Thursday (July 18). The first full trailer for Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom is one filled with gravitas and a powerful performance, giving potential audiences their first proper look at the biopic.

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The two-and-a-half minute clip gives us a relatively comprehensive look into the life and work of the iconic South African freedom fighter, with Elba taking on the young Mandela during his first brushes with the law and his meeting with future wife Winnie (Naomie Harris), before being sentenced to a lengthy prison term and eventual fight back against the system - all with K'Naan's 'Wavin' Flag' serving as the soundtrack.

The Justin Chadwick-directed film stretches throughout Mandela's whole life, growing up in a small rural village in South Africa to his 1994 election as South Africa's first black president following 27 years behind bars after fighting for equal rights in his home country. Along with Elba and Harris, the film will also star Jamie Bartlett, Grant Swanby, Riaad Moosa and a host of other relative newcomers. William Nicholson (Les Misérables, Gladiator, Nell) was responsible for the script.

Adapted from Mandela's 1994 autobiography Long Walk to Freedom, the film will be released in selected cinemas in the U.S. on November 29 and in the UK on January 3 2014. Just in time for Oscar season!

Watch the teaser trailer for Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom

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