Variety said the movie is slated to start shooting May 30 on location in South Africa.
Darrell J. Roodt -- who helmed "Cry, The Beloved Country" and "Sarafina!" -- is directing "Winnie," a big-screen adaptation of Anne Marie du Preez Bezdrob's biography "Winnie Mandela: A Life."
Hudson won an Oscar for her work in the movie musical "Dreamgirls." She has also appeared in the films "The Secret Life of Bees" and "Sex in the City."
"I was compelled and moved when I read the script," Variety quoted Hudson as saying. "Winnie Mandela is a complex and extraordinary woman and I'm honored to be the actress asked to portray her. This is a powerful part of history that should be told."