“Today at the edge of our hope, at the end of our time. We have chosen to believe in each other! Today we face the monsters that are at our door, today we are cancelling the apartheid!” Okay, maybe Idris Elba won’t be saying that in the upcoming, awards season horse “Mandela: The Lone Walk To Freedom,” but the actor will be taking on the challenging role of anti-apartheid crusader Nelson Mandela. It’s a tough part for anyone, and it’s certainly one that will be studied with even more scrutiny given Mandela’s failing health at the moment, but it looks like Elba is up to the challenge.
The first teaser trailer is here for the film, and while the footage is lean, it’s heavy on voiceover with Elba looking like he’s managed to hit the distinct accent of Mandela. Of course, that seems like it will be up for debate as when our correspondent in Cannes caught a longer sizzle reel at The Weinstein Company presentation, she noted “his accent is a bit of a worry, as the soundbites that played throughout just didn’t, to our untrained ears, sound authentically South African, let alone authentically Mandela [but] we hope to be proven wrong on that one.” However, she did point out praise for co-star Naomie Harris, who takes the role of Winnie Mandela, who is unfortunately left out of this first look.
Directed by Justin Chadwick (“The First Grader“), the film will focus on Mandela’s youth and his journey to become the first democratically elected president of South Africa. We’ll see how it all turns out when the film opens on November 29th.