Connect to share and comment

A global take on entertainment.

Idris Elba in Mandela movie already generating Oscar buzz (VIDEO)

First full trailer released with London-born actor Idris Elba as Nelson Mandela in new film "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom."
Idris elba as nelson mandela 07 19 2013Enlarge
From left, London-born actor Idris Elba plays Nelson Mandela, here in a 1961 archive photo, in the new movie "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom." The movie debuts on Nov. 29. (AFP/Getty Images)

Actor Idris Elba promises that his movie, “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” isn’t an action-hero adaptation of the great South African leader’s life.

Yet, if you watch the trailer released for Nelson Mandela’s 95th birthday this week, you would be forgiven for thinking the anti-apartheid champion was more Danny Glover in “Lethal Weapon.”

The two-minute, 30-second trailer is full of ominous, pounding music with more than one explosion and numerous gunshots.

“The leader you know, the man you don’t,” the film promises.

While producers The Weinstein Company have released smaller promotional “teasers,” the most recent trailer provides a longer look at Elba’s interpretation of Mandela.

While you wouldn’t confuse the two men, those who know Mandela and who have seen the trailer are impressed.

Sello Maake Ka Ncube, a South African actor, has played Mandela on stage. He praised Elba’s turn over other actors who have played the role: Morgan Freeman, David Harewood, Dennis Haysbert, Clarke Peters, Sidney Poitier and the aforementioned Glover.

“All have made the same error: they try to impersonate him rather than interpret him,” Ncube told the Guardian. “There is hope that Idris Elba will interpret the role for himself and it might be a seminal performance. We’re still waiting for a seminal performance.”

More from GlobalPost: Are South African actors too short to play Nelson Mandela?

The film covers Mandela's early life through his time as a young lawyer leading the civil rights movement with the African National Congress.

He's working with outstanding material with a script by William Nicholson ("Gladiator") under direction from Justin Chadwick ("The Other Boleyn Girl").

Elba is rousing as he delivers Mandela's famous speech to a judge that sentences him to life in prison for terrorism: "My Lord, it is not I, but the government that should plead guilty," and "freedom — it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die."

Elba is one of film’s hottest actors.

The 40-year-old Londoner just finished the surprise hit “Pacific Rim” and appeared in last summer’s big-budget “Prometheus.” Starring roles in TV’s “Luther” and “The Wire” would rate high among fans as his best.

As for “Long Walk to Freedom,” there’s already some who consider it Academy Award material.

“My film’s about his entire life,” Elba told the Guardian. “Anyone wanting to understand who Mandela was should go and watch my film.”

Mandela hits theaters on Nov. 29.

More from GlobalPost: Mandela may leave hospital, recover at home 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/hollyworld/idris-elba-mandela-movie-generating-oscar-buzz-trailer

.

Featured Slideshow

Please select a gallery.

Please select a gallery.