This year will see the release of a full-blown Nelson Mandela biopic, but before that, another film will focus on a crucial character in the Mandela story – Winnie Mandela, the woman, who stood by her husband and became a tireless activist in her own right. The trailer for Winnie Mandela has just been released and, despite some controversy around Jennifer Hudson playing the part of Mandela, the preview seems every bit as grandiose and inspirational as you’d expect.
Watch the Winnie Mandela trailer below.
The film was directed by Darrell Roodt, who also collaborated with Andre Pieterse on the script. While Roodt is something of a low-profile, indie director, he does have experience tackling the history of apartheid, which provided the background for his 1997 film Dangerous Ground.
Hudson will star as the dedicated wife of Nelson Mandela.
However, the authenticity of the upcoming biopic has been called into question, after a letter from Winnie Mandela’s lawyer to the producers, detailing his client’s concern about not being consulted on the story.
Some controversy has arisen around Hudson's casting.
He writes, "It is difficult to understand how a production bearing the name of an individual who has not been consulted at all could ever be appropriate or tell the full story of that individual's life as media reports suggest this production is intended to.
The project has been more than three years in the making.
"This is certainly the case here, where our client has not responded to allegations and comment which have been made about her, precisely because she has sought to protect her sphere of personal privacy as best she can in extremely difficult and turbulent times."
Initially, Winnie Mandela herself had objections to the unauthorised biopic. Nelson Mandela is played by Terrence Howard.
However, this controversy unfolded back in 2010 and was apparently resolved somehow in the years since, which should give you a clue as to how long this project has been in the works. Another point of dispute was initially the casting of Hudson as Mandela, with opinions voiced that an actress from Winnie’s own home country of South Africa would be better suited for the part. Whether these opinions turn out to be true or not, remains to be seen, as the movie hits theatres on September 6 this year.
The film will be released almost in sync with the Nelson Mandela biopic Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom.