‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’ Screenwriter William Nicholson says the Biopic Didn’t Receive a Lot of Critical Acclaim because ’12 Years a Slave’ ‘Sucked Up All the Guilt about Black People’

William Nicholson, screenwriter of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, poses at the Guess Portrait Studio on Sept. 8, 2013, during the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.  LARRY BUSACCA/GETTY IMAGES
William Nicholson, screenwriter of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, poses at the Guess Portrait Studio on Sept. 8, 2013, during the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.
LARRY BUSACCA/GETTY IMAGES

Blame 12 Years a Slave for Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’s lack of critical acclaim.

That is what Mandela screenwriter William Nicholson told the Daily Telegraph after the movie was slighted at just about every major movie-awards show.

According to Nicholson, 12 Years a Slave “sucked up all the guilt about black people” before Nicholson’s 15-year-long biopic about Nelson Mandela, played by Idris Elba, was released.

“I think it worked superbly,” Nicholson, who wrote some 33 drafts of the screenplay, told the newspaper. “I’m incredibly proud of this film. Unfortunately it didn’t get the kind of acclaim that I wanted. It didn’t get Oscars.

“They were so exhausted feeling guilty about slavery that I don’t think there was much left over to be nice about our film,” he continued, “So our film didn’t do as well as we’d hoped, which was a bit heartbreaking.

“We showed it to test audiences very extensively and it got astounding responses. These things are measured in percentages and it was in the high 90s every time. So, honestly, we thought we had a winner. And when it didn’t become a winner it was devastating, actually, it was very distressing.

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Source: The Root | 

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