Coming on the heels of the widely-celebrated Gran Torino, Clint Eastwood is in preparations to release his next feature film Invictus, the story of Nelson Mandela's efforts to reunite the people of South Africa during the 1995 Rugby World Cup.
The movie will feature Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela and Matt Damon as Francois Pienaar, the captain of the South African rugby team. The title, Invictus, refers to a short poem Mandela was often known to recite.
Slated to open on December 11th, Warner Bros. hopes premiering Invictus at the peak of awards season will make the film a heavy-hitter come Oscar time. Of course, Clint Eastwood is no stranger to awards: he has earned two Best Actor nominations, four Best Director nominations (with two wins for Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby), and the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award.
I find it amazing that Clint Eastwood is still producing such terrific movies after all these years. The man has been directing movies for nearly four decades and starring in them for more than five. What's more, he's been starring in and directing good movies for all those years. Given the subject matter, as well as its sterling cast, it is unlikely that Invictus will buck that trend.
Given Eastwood's amazing track record as an actor and director, I still think it's kind of crazy that Gran Torino wasn't nominated for a single Academy Award last year. On the other hand, Gran Torino was the highest grossing film of Clint's career (earning $148M in the US and $112.5M overseas), which, in my humble opinion, is a pretty good consolation prize.
So what do you think? Will Invictus earn Eastwood his third Best Director Oscar?
As stated, Invictus will open on December 11, 2009. No word yet on how wide of a release the film will have.