Eastwood/Mandela

I was cupping my ears when Clint Eastwood spoke last night about his Nelson Mandela biopic-slash-sports drama, which will begin filming in March with Morgan Freeman in the title role and Matt Damon as rugby player/coach Francois Pienaar. And I didn’t hear Clint say that the title will be The Human Factor, which is what the IMDB thinks it will be.

Eastwood said it might simply be called Mandela or — this is much better — Playing the Enemy, which is the name of John Carlin‘s book about how then-president Mandela’s wily strategy of using a sporting event — the Sprinkboks rugby team in the 1995 World Cup — to try and heal South Africa’s racial divisions.

Eastwood’s pattern of being pretty quick on the turnaround suggests that the Mandela pic will be released sometime at the end of this year for Best Picture contention. Maybe.

Interviewer Leonard Maltin didn’t ask Eastwood about his post-Mandela plan to direct Hereafter, a supernatural thriller in the vein of The Sixth Sense that’s based on a script by Frost-Nixon scribe Peter Morgan.

I was told last night at the Eastwood reception party that Clint may be looking to shoot it sometime next fall, or perhaps in early ’10.


ClintEastwood2 from Hollywood Elsewhere on Vimeo.

When are people going to stop saying “two thousand and…”? It all stems from the cultural dictatorship of Stanley Kubrick‘s 2001: A Space Odyssey . We’re now in the year twenty-oh-nine and next year should be referred to twenty-ten. I don’t want to hear that it’s two-thousand ten. Enough of that.

112 thoughts on “Eastwood/Mandela

  1. Eastwood does not deserve to make a film with a title already taken by his superior Otto Preminger, let alone one adapted from a Graham Greene book by the same name.

    Why not just call it Oscar Bait?

  2. you don’t have to say the AND, Jeff.

    “Two-thousand ten.”

    20-10 sounds weird for whatever reason.

    As a compromise maybe we can kick it old school and just say we’re in “aught-nine” for the time being.

  3. Of course, it’s actually the year 15 billion or so. But i’m more than happy to bow to the cultural dictatorship of Stanley Kubrick.

  4. I’m surprised you like the title ‘Playing The Enemy,’ Jeff. Really? Seems like a very lame, generic title to me. Freeman as Mandela simply HAD to happen one of these days, didn’t it?

  5. Of course, it’s actually the year 15 billion or so. But i’m more than happy to bow to the cultural dictatorship of Stanley Kubrick.

  6. MANDELA would be a disingenuous title, since it’s merely about a specific event. Not really crazy about PLAYING THE ENEMY either though. Makes me think Patrick Bergin might show up.

  7. Also when he releases this in the fall, how much do you want to bet the narrative is going to be that he’s owed because of the GRAN TORINO snub?

  8. Eastwood’s pattern of being pretty quick on the turnaround suggests that the Mandela pic will be released sometime at the end of this year for Best Picture contention.

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