Invictus is an upcoming film due to be released in December 2009. This promises to be 2nd blockbuster film of the year which was made in South Africa (behind District 9). The film is directed by Hollywood veteran Clint Eastwood (who needs no introduction). Invictus tells the true story about Nelson Mandela joining forces with the captain of the Springbok rugby team, Francois Pienaar to help unite post-Apartheid era South Africa. Back then President Nelson Mandela was aware that the country was still very much divided racially and economically. He believed that he could bring the South African people together through the universal language of sport. He rallied for the South African rugby as they made their historic run to the 1995 Rugby World Cup tournament (which was hosted by South Africa in that year). Invictus promises to bring back fond memories for South Africans about the 1995 Rugby World Cup and provide insight into this period of South African history to movie audiences worldwide.
Matt Damon has been cast in the role of former South African rugby captain Francois Pienaar. Morgan Freeman has been cast in the role of former South African President Nelson Mandela. I feel that this is not a bad choice of actors. They are well established in Hollywood and should pull audiences into cinemas around the world. Most South Africans have fond memories about the 1995 Rugby World Cup so this should also pull audiences from South Africa. The film also features appearances by Penny Downie, Julian Lewis Jones, Grant Roberts, Robert Hobbs, Tony Kgoroge, Bonnie Henna, Graham Lindemann, Vaughn Thompson, Patrick Mofokeng, Charl Engelbrecht, Matt Stern, Zak Feaunati, Ryan Scott and Rolf E. Fitschen. It’s rumored that the film has a budget of $50 million (about R400 million), making it one of the biggest films ever to be made in South Africa. Primary filming was completed in South Africa in May 2009. Former South African rugby player (and 1995 World Cup star) Chester Williams was Matt Damon’s coach for this movie. Invictus is based on the book by John Carlin entitled Playing The Enemy: Nelson Mandela And The Game That Changed a Nation. In my opinion, this film will restore the South African national pride which was slightly injured by a recent poor performance of the South African national anthem before a match between the Springboks and France.
This is the trailer for Invictus:
Invictus (2009 – Internet Movie Database
It’s Gonna be a Bokbuster! – Tonight
Eastwood’s Invictus based on Nelson Mandela’s life – One India