Morgan Freeman to portray Nelson Mandela in Clint Eastwood-directed movie
He couldn’t be more suited to the part and after five years of false starts, Morgan Freeman will finally get to play Nelson Mandela in a new movie.
The story will tell the dramatic events of the 1995 Rugby World Cup, which South Africa hosted and won, following decades of apartheid.
According to Variety newspaper, Warner Brothers are on the cusp of committing to the film, The Human Factor, to be directed by Clint Eastwood and co-starring Matt Damon as the Springbok captain, Francois Pienaar.
The script is based on a forthcoming book by former foreign correspondent for the Independent, John Carlin, who has reported at length from South Africa over the last two decades.
Initially Freeman hoped to adapt Mandela’s autobiography Long Walk to Freedom with Indian director, Shekhar Kapur set to direct, but the project fell through and Freeman discovered the Carlin book, The Human Factor: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Changed the World.
Carlin describes the story saying: ‘It’s about an event that distils the essence of Mandela’s genius and the essence of the South African miracle. It really is the ultimate feel-good redemption movie.’
With Freeman receiving Mandela’s personal blessing for the project, the film is guaranteed to be a success. The last two movies pairing Eastwood and Freeman – the western Unforgiven and boxing drama Million Dollar Baby – both won Oscars for best picture.