OFFICIAL TRAILER - Mandela - Long Walk To Freedom

The Weinstein Co. screened parts of the film for the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday as part of celebrations of Nelson Mandela International Day. Notable attendees included former U.S. President Bill Clinton; Rev. Jesse Jackson; singer and civil rights icon Harry Belafonte; U.N. General Assembly president John William Ashe; and Ban ki-moon, secretary-general of the U.N.

Based on an original screenplay by William Nicholson and directed by Justin Chadwick, "Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom" focuses on Mandela's younger days. Elba's been mentioned as a possible Best Actor contender. One can't help but wonder if there aren't any South African actors worthy of the role, I think its difficult for an American actor to capture South African nuances. Over the years we have seen a few adaptations of Mandela on film, Mandela and de Klerk (Sydney Potier and Michael Caine), Goodbye Bafana ( as Madiba), Invctus (Morgan Freeman), Winnie (Terrence howard) Endgame (Clarke Peters) and Mandela - 1987 (Danny Glover), I don't think that any of these actors conquered the role of Madiba, I'm hoping Idris Elba will be Different.

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, directed by Britain's Justin Chadwick (The Other Boleyn Girl), is in post-production and due for release in South Africa this winter. The film spans 1924 to 1994, with two other actors playing Mandela at ages eight and 16. His prison on Robben Island was reconstructed in minute detail at a studio in Cape Town, right down to the keys and locks used on cell doors. Producer Videovision has offered to donate the sets to the Mandela museum in Qunu and other heritage sites.
The picture was made in consultation with the Mandela family and his foundation. Producer Anant Singh, who has been working on the project for 17 years, said: "I was thrilled that when Madiba [Mandela's clan name] looked at some of images of Idris Elba in the trademark Madiba shirt, he asked the question, 'Is that me?'. This recognition and affirmation from Madiba is extremely satisfying and makes our journey worthwhile."

Elba and Harris were joined by more than 100 South African actors, for whom this was a deeply personal project. "The casting of Idris Elba was a piece of genius," the cast member said. "He doesn't look like Mandela at all but they didn't want a Mandela lookalike."
A British prosthetics team worked on Elba so he could portray Mandela over a period of 30 to 40 years, the actor added. "I like what Idris did with it. I was moved by him. He was very focused and I admired his concentration. Hats off to him."

Long walk to freedom releases toward the end of this year. Enjoy the trailer along with the adaptations of Madiba on the Big screen.

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