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Amandla! Watch Idris Elba, Naomie Harris In First Full Trailer For ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’

Amandla! Watch Idris Elba, Naomie Harris In First Full Trailer For 'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom'

I expected it would drop today, given that it’s his 95th birthday.

So here it is folks, the first full trailer for MandelaLong Walk to Freedom, starring Idris Elba as Nelson Mandela and Naomie Harris as Winnie Mandela, in a film directed by Justin Chadwick, which highlights Mandela’s early life, education and 27 years in prison. 

The Weinstein Company will open it on November 29 – likely as one of its Oscar contenders. 

Producers have said that the film will have an “epic sweep,” from a script written by GladiatorShadowlands and Les Miserables writer, William Nicholson.

South African stars Tony KgorogeRiaad Moosa, Zolani MkivaJamie Bartlett, Lindiwe MatshikizaDeon Lotz and Terry Pheto, round out the cast.

Happy 95th birthday Mr Mandela, or should I say Madiba; Needless to say, he’s lived quite a lengthy and involved life.

A life that has been, and will continue to be the subject of scripted films and documentaries.

Great black actors like Sidney PoitierDennis HaysbertMorgan FreemanDavid Harewood and most recently Terrence Howard have all played him, whether in projects that were specifically centered around him, or in which his wife, Winnie Mandela, was the focus.

However, in looking over all those films – even those in which his story was the highlight, the narrative always included his relation to some specific white man – in Mandela and de Clerk (Poitier & Michael Caine); Goodbye Bafana (Haysbert and Ralph Fiennes as a prison guard responsible for Mandela, and the relationship they had); and Invictus (Freeman and Matt Damon as captain of the South African Springboks rugby team).

So really, I can’t say that any of them has focused solely on Mandela’s life, absent of any white co-pilot; meaning, there hasn’t been what I’d call the definitive Nelson Mandela film or TV series (and I’m talking strictly about scripted narratives here, not including documentaries), which, if you think about it, is a shame, given the global awareness of this icon of a human being.

Hopefully, that will be corrected this year, as Idris Elba’s Long Walk to Freedom, which is said to be a definitive work on the life of Nelson Mandela, will open in theaters on November 29, courtesy of The Weinstein Company. 

Check out the first full trailer below; I must say, in watching this, that it’s going to be rather difficult to *see* Mandela, and not Idris Elba *playing* Mandela. But I’ll reserve further commentary until I see the entire film:

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Who is nitpicking? Most of the comments (save for the last one) were leaning towards positive or at least hopeful. As for my personal opinion, I'm with AFRICAMELEON. I LOVE Idris but he would not have been my first choice, and although I know the acting will be top notch, I still think the criticisms are fair. There have been quite a few portrayals of Mr. Mandela and I don't think any of them have ever really gotten it right. By the way, has a South African actor ever played him in a movie before?


Terrible casting. Terrible accent. Idris needs a better agent. Chiwitel Ejiofor is the next Denzel.


STOP NICKPICKING!!!! lord black folks cant be happy for nothing…. This site is for black films and you're complaining?


MUCH better than I expected.. Idris is the man, I hope he eventually reaches "Denzel" level status in his career.


I start to like it… And then I remember that it's about Nelson Mandela. If it were Elba playing another activist – One with leading man looks, height, build, and sex appeal like Elba – then cool. But it's not. Madiba is and was a "regular / every" man who did extraordinary things. He wasn't the quarterback. That's what makes him great IMHO. But don't get me wrong, a good actor can pull it off. So I will wait to see what happens when it's released.


Really like what I see here. Six months ago, when no one was talking about this movie, I came across some early feedback that gave me hope that this film had lots of promise. So far the trailers only confirm this. I'm interested what the final result will actually be.


How come no one has kicked up a fuss about idris playing nelson Mandela but everyone was up in arms about Zoë Saldana playing Nina Simone? is it because of the black face


You know, I am so concerned about the casting choice (as much as I love Idris). I hate to hear fake accents. It just hurts my ears. Surely, there are actors on the continent or in South Africa who could play these roles, but I digress.

I really want to see this! I am such a fan of Naomie Harris (and she hardly ever gets a lead) and Idris Elba, two gorgeous and talented actors. I'll watch this this one for sure (much quicker than I'll watch that crappy looking Mandela pic with Jhud and Terrence Howard). Very exciting!


Idris Elba as Idris Elba playing Mandela… *Eyes rolling*


No …


I've watched this trailer so many times within the past few hours. And JP is right this is looking to be the "The Year of the Black Actor", which is progress to say the least. With Fruitvale Station, Twelve Years a Slave, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom all looking like strong quality films. I hope that this isn't just a trend though. Hopefully this will lead to not just progress for Black Actors but also progress for Black Actresses and eventually mainstream integration…but now saying that aloud it just sounds like fluffy wishful thinking. If anything I hope people don't see these movies as "Black Films" but rather as universal stories, because the history behind the later two and the socio-economic and racial issues in the former have influenced us all, Black and White.


The Year of the Black Actor is alive and real! That makes potentially Idris, Michael B. Jordan, Forest Whitaker, and Chiwetel as Best Actor nominees. (It'll never happen, but we can hope).
Its hard not to see this as Idris-playing-Mandela visually, but he really sounds like he nailed the accent and character. I know Terrence Dashon Howard is heated lol

Screen Nation

Love this!! A seminal role for Idris and love the bravery of the casting with Naomie Harris. Looks like a pretty decent job all round by the Brits.

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