Yesterday was the 95th birthday of Nelson Mandela, and—besides improved health, the knowledge that he has secured his legacy as a champion for equality, and maybe one of those funny eCards from Bono—what more could the man wish for than a movie trailer where he’s portrayed by the always-awesome Idris Elba? The Wire and Pacific Rim star makes his official foray into big-P prestige films with this adaptation of Mandela’s 1994 autobiography, capturing a time when all of South Africa was asking, “Where’s the end of institutionalized racism, String?” and Mandela responded by declaring, “Today, we are canceling the apartheid.” There, I think we got all the obvious references out of the way. Something about Luther, maybe.
Anyway, Harvey Weinstein has described the movie as both “not your daddy’s HBO version of Mandela” [guitar squeal, skateboard ollie] and “the kick-ass Mandela,” and this preview certainly bears that out, what with all the explosions and guns to go with the rallying speeches. Happy birthday, Mandela. You may be a man of peace, but you're also a badass.