Watch Trailer For Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom With Idris Elba


Last week, he cancelled the apocalypse. This week, Idris Elba plans to liberate a nation. In the first full-length trailer for Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, the actor takes on a far more challenging role than defeating aliens. Now he embodies one of the great modern day icons of peace.

Elba takes on the part of Nelson Mandela in what looks like a fairly straight forward biopic of the South African president. The film follows Mandela from his rural childhood through the struggle against apartheid, imprisonment and his rise to become South Africa’s first black president in a multi-racial, fair election. The film is based on Mandela’s book Long Walk To Freedom.

The trailer gives a fairly basic overview of the film, including the struggles against apartheid and the centrepiece of Mandela’s imprisonment. It’s a harrowing but inspiring story, made all the more poignant when we realize that this all took place not so long ago.

The role of Mandela would be a challenge to any actor. Idris Elba is walking in the footsteps not just of Nelson Mandela, but also of actors like Sidney Poitier (Mandela and De Klerk) and Morgan Freeman (Invictus), both of whom have played the part in the past. It’s a challenge, but based on the trailer Elba has more than lived up to it. It’s wonderful to see a talented actor get meaty, poignant roles as well as big blockbuster parts. Idris Elba is well on his way to becoming one of the top actors in Hollywood and this looks like another great role for him.

Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom was directed by Justin Chadwick (The Other Boleyn Girl) from a script by William Nicholson (Les Miserables). It also stars Skyfall’s Naomie Harris as Mandela’s wife Winnie, along with Tony Kgoroge, Riaad Moosa, Zolani Mkiva and Jamie Bartlett. 

The film is likely to premiere on the festival circuit first, with a January 2014 release date for the UK.

Check out the trailer for Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom below. Look good?