The production of an upcoming Nelson Mandela documentary is in progress, with filmmaker Antoine Fuqua tapped as its director.
Fuqua, known for directing “Training Day” and the “Equalizer” movie series, will work with Mandela’s former cellmate, Mac Maharaj, to bring the untold story of the late South African anti-apartheid activist and eventual president to a larger audience. The independent documentary is set to feature never-before-heard interviews with Mandela and with Maharaj, according to The Wrap.
“It’s an honor to bring to the screen the untold story of Mandela, a man I’ve revered my entire life,” Fuqua said in a statement. “For decades, Mandela and his comrades were put through the most inhumane conditions imaginable. Yet they came out of jail with love and forgiveness in their hearts, and rather than seeking vengeance, they sought to unite the country.”
Fuqua shared that the documentary, “Troublemaker: The Story Behind the Mandela Tapes,” will focus on Mandela’s journey and the sacrifices he made as he fought for the equality and civil rights of Black people during South Africa’s white-minority rule era.
“His compassion and inner strength enabled Mandela to make meaningful change,” Fuqua said. “This film will investigate how Mandela came through his ordeals with his humanity intact, and reveal the tough and shrewd politician behind his iconic ‘nice guy’ persona. I’m incredibly fortunate to be partnered on this project with Mac Maharaj, whose experiences, intelligence and encyclopedic memory of his years alongside Mandela are invaluable.”
Maharaj — who shared a cell with Mandela on Robben Island for 12 of the 27 years the African National Congress leader spent jailed — is an executive producer of “Troublemaker.”
“I have longed to see the story of Nelson Mandela, and his decades-long fight and sacrifice for freedom, equality and justice told in an authentic, complex and revelatory way,” Maharaj commented. “It is a story that is more relevant to humanity today, than ever. I am thrilled that a director of Antoine Fuqua’s skill, creativity, and integrity has agreed to take on this challenging task.”
Maharaj will work alongside Gordon Metz, Hipster Media’s Markus Davies, and Zig Zag Productions’ Matt Graff and Danny Fenton, the film’s other executive producers.
In addition to the Mandela documentary, Fuqua will also direct the upcoming biopic, “Michael,” which will include a portrayal of Michael Jackson by his nephew, Jaafar Jackson, along with Colman Domingo acting as the late singer-songwriter’s father.
Both films add to Fuqua’s growing portfolio of documentaries. His work includes “American Dream/American Knightmare,” the HBO Muhammad Ali documentary “What’s My Name,” and the Hulu docuseries “Legacy: The True Story of the L.A. Lakers, ” among others.
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