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Eastwood's Mandela film, Invictus, to be released Dec. 11

Invictus, the next film from Clint Eastwood, has just been designated an awards-friendly release date of December 11th, 2009.  The movie is about "Nelson Mandela's attempt to use the 1995 Rugby World Cup to heal his nation following his release from prison, the fall of apartheid, and his election as president of South Africa," reports Variety. The story is adapted from a book by John Carlin called "Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made A Nation."

Once working under the title of "The Human Factor," Invictus will star Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela, and Matt Damon as rugby player Francois Pienaar.

The new name for the film comes from a poem written by William Ernest Henley. Eastwood chose "Invictus" because the short poem "speaks to the will to survive in the face of adversity." Also, Mandela recited it often.

Sounds like another Oscar-runner with a funky name (Changeling, anyone?) from Eastwood, but never the less this one could be very good. As you may remember, Morgan Freeman and Eastwood did some great work in Best Picture winning Million Dollar Baby. Invictus also has an advantage in that Freeman does actually resemble Mandela (though the actor's eyes are a bit different).

Worth noting is that Peter Jackson's long awaited film The Lovely Bones will be released on the same day. If Invictus opens wide, (as planned), there will definitely be some box office friction.

Source: Variety

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