The film’s producer Anant Singh and an emotional Idris Elba as the film’s credit rolled announced news of the tragedy. Elba stars as Mandela in “Long Walk to Freedom.”
“I wanted to advise you that President Zuma of South Africa has announced the passing of Madiba at 9:30 tonight.” Singh said. “He stated that Madiba had departed and was at peace. ‘Our nation has lost it’s greatest son.’ Zindzi and Zenani [two of Mandela’s daughters who were seated inside the theater when the Mandela film began] are at the hotel — they wanted the movie to continue — and our hearts and prayers go out to everybody. Can I call for a minute of silence?”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, gasps here heard throughout the packed theater upon hearing of Mandela’s demise. Among those attending the premiere were Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.
As he left the theater, Prince William briefly weighed in on Mandela’s passing.
“I just want to say it’s obviously extreme and tragic news,” said Prince William, who broke royal protocol to talk to the press. “We were just reminded of what an extraordinary and inspiring man Nelson Mandela was, and my thoughts and prayers are with him and his family right now.”
The death of Mandela resulted in the cancellation of the film’s after party.
On Friday, the day after Mandela’s death, “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” was pulled out of South African theaters. Screening for the film resumed on Saturday, which also marked the start of an official five-day period of mourning throughout South Africa.
Mandela is currently lying in state in Pretoria, the administrative capital of the country. The civil rights activist’s funeral, which will be held next Sunday in his hometown of Qunu, is expected to be the largest funeral for a statesman in history.
Footage of the announcement of Mandela’s death, obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, is below: