I actually am a little surprised by this. Not that I expected the film to be violence-filled, with lots of foul language, sex and nudity to warrant an R-rating, but Nelson Mandela, the South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, lived far from what you’d call a PG-13 life, from his early days involved in anti-colonial politics, joining the ANC and becoming a founding member of its Youth League, to his life imprisonment sentence in 1964, narrowly escaping the death penalty, but spending some 27 years in confinement, and later, as the first non-white head of state in South African history, as well as the first to take office following the dismantling of apartheid and the introduction of multiracial democracy. He was also the oldest head of state in South Africa’s history, taking office at the age of 75.
I suppose my fear is that, with a PG-13 rating, this will likely be a diluted, safe, feel-good, family-friendly Nelson Mandela movie that has Oscar bait written all over it, instead of something distinctly adult-targeted. Nothing entirely wrong with that. Just keep the swelling soundtrack moments that tell you what and how to feel, to a minimum.
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom stars 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 Gladiator, Shadowlands and Les Miserables writer, William Nicholson.
South African stars Tony Kgoroge, Riaad Moosa, Zolani Mkiva, Jamie Bartlett, Lindiwe Matshikiza, Deon Lotz and Terry Pheto, round out the cast.
Check out the first full trailer below if you missed it previously: