At the risk of sounding crass, one has to wonder how Nelson Mandela’s current state of health will impact the upcoming film “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” starring Idris Elba as the South African revolutionary. Thankfully things seem to be looking better for him than they were a week ago.
Meanwhile, Elba takes flight today with his first big leading role in “Pacific Rim,” and The Weinstein Company has seized the opportunity to offer up a little tease of Justin Chadwick’s film to go along with it. It isn’t much. One helicopter shot of Mandela walking surrounded by children. It focuses more on Elba’s accent as the actor speaks a monologue over the scene.
I see that some journalists are finally getting around to the notion that the upcoming film awards season has a lot of minority representation and could be a major year for seeing African American and Latino actors recognized, from Octavia Spencer to Michael B. Jordan, Oscar Isaac to Oprah Winfrey to, indeed, Idris Elba and Naomie Harris as Mandela’s wife Winnie in this film. There’s a real opportunity, anyway. We’ll see if the Academy seizes it.
Check out the teaser trailer for “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” below.