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Terrence Howard, 'Winnie Mandela' producers remember late Nelson Mandela

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Terrence Howard and the producers of the 2011 film Winnie Mandela, in which Howard played Nelson Mandela, released a statement about the former South African president’s death Thursday.
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Nelson Mandela: Filmmakers of 'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom' react to icon's death

Nobel Peace Prize winner and former South African president Nelson Mandela, who died Tuesday at the age of 95, is the subject of the new film, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, released last week. The film stars Idris Elba (Thor: The Dark World) and is directed by Justin Chadwick (The Other Boleyn Girl). On behalf of the Weinstein Company, which is distributing the film, studio Co-Chairman Harvey Weinstein released the following statement:

“One of the privileges of making movies is having the opportunity to immortalize those who have made a profound impact on humanity. We count ourselves unspeakably fortunate to have been immersed in Nelson Mandela’s story and legacy. It’s been an honor to have been granted such proximity to a man who will go down as one of history’s greatest freedom fighters and advocates for justice. I have had the privilege of spending time with President Mandela and I can say his sense of humor was as great as his optimism. We are deeply saddened by his loss; our hearts go out to his family and the entire South African nation.”

Last August, EW spoke with director Chadwick about making the film, which was shot in South Africa. Weeks before shooting, Chadwick got to meet Mandela, who had been in frail health. “That was a moment and an afternoon I will never, ever, ever forget,” Chadwick told EW.  “I was invited to the house for tea. The electricity that came off him was amazing.  It was a great, great meeting.  I started shooting about three weeks later, and I  just carried that energy with me all the way through [filming].”

Read more at People.com:
Nelson Mandela: His Life in Pictures
Dignitaries and Stars Pay Tribute
Flashback: The Actors Who’ve Portrayed Him
Prince William at ‘Mandela’ Premiere: He Was ‘an Extraordinary and Inspiring Man’

'Mandela' featurette: Idris Elba talks about the icon who was saint and sinner -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

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Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom was the toughest ticket to get in the very few theaters it played last holiday weekend, when it averaged more per-screen than Catching Fire and Frozen. With the film set to expand nationwide on Christmas, a new featurette titled “Mandela: The Leader You Know, The Man You Didn’t” aims to reintroduce the man behind the legend, as well as promote Idris Elba’s candidacy for acting accolades.

In the video, which features commentary from public figures as eclectic as Tom Brokaw and Sean Combs, the inspiring words of the hero himself combine with grainy footage of the early anti-apartheid movement to set the tone for the story of how Mandela became Public Enemy No. 1 for fighting against the white South African regime.

At a precise moment, Mandela’s words overlap with Elba’s, and the actor takes over. There’s very little physical resemblance between the two men, a fact Elba himself has admitted, but the actor emits a determined strength that honors both men.

Watch the clip below:
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'Mandela' to screen for President Obama at White House

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The Nelson Mandela biopic Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom will get an audience from President Barack Obama, as well as a screening at the Kennedy Center hosted by Hillary Clinton.

The Weinstein Co. tells The Associated Press that Obama will screen the film Thursday at the White House. Mandela’s daughters Zindzi and Zenani Mandela will join, as will the film’s stars, Idris Elba and Naomie Harris.

The film will also screen Nov. 20 at the Kennedy Center, with Clinton hosting the gala.

Though there have been other films about the former South African president, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom has long had Mandela’s approval and the cooperation of his family. It premiered Sunday in Johannesburg with much of Mandela’s family in attendance.

Mandela opens in U.S. theaters Nov. 29.

New 'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom' trailer set to epic U2 song -- VIDEO

If there’s one real-life story that doesn’t require a swelling soundtrack for added drama, it’s Nelson Mandela’s decades-long struggle to end apartheid and regain his freedom. But in the latest trailer for Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, it sure doesn’t hurt.

Idris Elba plays the South African icon in the film, and his powerful performance is backed by an original song by U2, whose frontman, Bono, has long supported Mandela’s cause. The movie is based on Mandela’s 1994 autobiography Long Walk to Freedom.

Check out the preview below:
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'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom' trailer: Meet Idris Elba's Nelson Mandela, certified badass

“He was public enemy No. 1, hunted by the police, feared by the government. Revolutionary. Outlaw. Rebel. Fighter.”

Are we talking about a fictional action hero — a vigilante in the tradition of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, or maybe some kind of Bourne descendent?

Nope: Those are the words used to describe none other than South African political leader Nelson Mandela in the following trailer. Though the nonagenarian revolutionary — the ailing icon just celebrated the big 9-5; happy birthday, Your Excellency! — is best known today as a smiling, stooped old man, he was quite the debonair radical until he was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1962. Mandela was released in 1990 and elected president of South Africa just four years later.

In Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, the man himself is played by Idris Elba — who knows how to smolder and inspire in equal measure, even while delivering occasionally clunky dialogue. (“You are Winnie Madikizela, the first black social worker they’ve ever hired,” he says to the woman who will become his second wife, played here by Naomi Harris. “And you are the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen.”)

See South Africa’s savior speed away from exploding bombs, be called a womanizer, and exhibit more un-Gandhi-like (and un-Gandhi-like) behavior in the clip below.

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Idris Elba stars as Nelson Mandela in 'Long Walk to Freedom' trailer

Paging Oscars!

The first teaser trailer for Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, based on Nelson Mandala own 1994 autobiography, has arrived. Starring Idris Elba as the titular icon, this biopic will reportedly cover a great majority of Mandela’s life, from childhood to prison to his inauguration as President of South Africa. The quick first trailer goes for a literal approach, showing Elba’s Mandela walking along a mountain amongst a group of children. Viewers don’t get a close-up of his face, but do get to hear Elba say, via voiceover, “I have walked a long walk to freedom. It has been a long road, and it’s not over yet. No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin. People learn to hate. They can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart.” So it’s slightly different than the dialogue from Elba’s current project, Pacific Rim.

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The Weinstein Company picks up Idris Elba Mandela biopic

The Nelson Mandela biopic Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom has found an American distributor in The Weinstein Company. Directed by Justin Chadwick (The Other Boleyn Girl), the film stars Idris Elba (Luther) as Mandela and Naomie Harris (Skyfall) as his wife Winnie.

The film is based on Mandela’s autobiography of the same name, which covers his early life to his political ascendance. Producer Anant Singh had been trying to get the film made for years. Earlier in the film’s life, Les Miserables director Tom Hooper was attached to the project. He’d gone so far as to meet with Mandela in 2009, but scheduling conflicts prevented that from moving forward. Though less of an awards juggernaut, Chadwick was a known quantity for Singh, who’d worked with the director and Harris on the 2010 drama The First Grader.
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