The biopic, which took 10 years to make and had Mandela's full support, was being screened in London on Thursday night when news broke of the South African leader's death.
A Nelson Mandela biopic that took 10 years to make has turned into a tender eulogy with the passing of the revered South African leader.
“Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” was being screened in London Thursday night when news broke of the anti-apartheid leader’s death — making the release of the celebratory film all the more poignant.
The 95-year-old gave his full support to the biography, the most comprehensive film ever made of his revolutionary life.
Starring British actor Idris Elba, “Mandela” already had limited release in four New York theaters on Nov. 29. It’s also been shown to dignitaries, including President Obama in the White House. It will open worldwide on Christmas.
Mandela’s state funeral will be held Dec. 15 in the Eastern Cape village of Qunu.
A Weinstein Co. publicist said the film’s release schedule won’t be changed but declined to say if the movie’s marketing would be altered.
The movie directed by British filmmaker Justin Chadwick hadn’t won any awards heading into December.
But the voting for many of the industry’s most prestigious awards — like the Golden Globes and the Oscars — will start in the next two months.
The film is already a huge success in South Africa, where it set a box-office debut record, earning $427,000 in its opening week.