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All Blacks skills - Pt 2 In the backyard

Trinh-Duc sets up Harinordoquy try

Wales vs England 1999

Greg Holmes great hit on Francois Louw

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Invictus trailer released

The trailer for the much talked about upcoming film Invictus was released earlier this week. The film is based around the events of the 1995 World Cup in South Africa, and features Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela, and Matt Damon as Francois Pienaar.

It’s directed by Clint Eastwood and looks likely to be an Oscar contender if all the hype is to be believed. Rugby is not huge in the US, but the political, historical, and human factor (which incidentally is what the film was going to be named) will no doubt capture the audience’s attention.

The title of the movie, Invictus, means ‘unconquered’ and comes from the poem by William Ernest Henley which talks about being the ‘master of my fate’ and ‘the captain of my soul’.

Initial thoughts? Sceptical. The trailer seems to depict newly elected president Mandela as the mastermind behind the World Cup win in 1995, with the great man seemingly involved in every step of the planning, preparation, and training within the Springbok camp.

That’s really not how it happened at all, but it will no doubt make for a good story that Hollywood will lap up and at the end of the day, it’s great exposure for rugby.

Mandela did however have a huge role to play in terms of uniting a divided country, as well as motivating the Springbok players in a way that none of them ever imagined. By embracing the sport that was traditionally a white man's game in South Africa, he brought the country together in a way that had never been done before.

Director Eastwood seems to have done an amazing job with the authenticity of the spectacle. It’s hard to tell at this stage if the epic will be primarily a rugby movie or more politically based (dare I say probably the latter), but from what you can see in the trailer, they haven’t missed a detail in terms of genuine kit, advertising boards, and player likenesses.

It’s also filmed entirely in and around the cities of Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Accents will always be a hot topic when films of this nature are made, but so far it sounds as if Freeman and Damon have done a pretty decent job, despite Freeman sounding truly American at both the start and end of the trailer.

The one concern is that Damon is 5ft10, while Francois Pienaar is 6ft3. Hopefully when watching the film it's not too distracting for die-hard rugby fans. Afterall, it's not aimed at us only anyway.

It will be released in December, and all in all it’s going to be of great significance for the sport of rugby in general, and will hopefully be an accurate representation of what happened during that ground breaking month of June 1995.

Time: 02:31



  • Looks good. Cant wait to see it. :)

    By Anonymous Scotsdale, at October 29, 2009 2:56 pm  

  • Were South Africa really that big of an underdog ? Or is there some artistic licence being taken ? I wonder if they'll have the Canada pool match in it.....

    By Anonymous Third Centre, at October 29, 2009 2:58 pm  

  • While Matt Damon makes a staggeringly good Pienaar, I can't help but suspect that the rugby in this is going to be embarrassingly pony... in fact given Eastwood is directing I can't help but suspect the whole affair will be pony

    By Anonymous Hackney Griffin, at October 29, 2009 3:00 pm  

  • It was SA's first world cup. Had been out of international rugby for years because of sanctions, so yes, they certainly weren't favourites.

    By Anonymous Scotsdale, at October 29, 2009 3:01 pm  

  • NZ and Aus were favorites, SA was an underdog, but not as much as they make out in this clip.
    I'm sure everyone thought they had an outside chance.
    Looks alright though, pretty funny the way they make Mandela out to be the brains behind the win, like he didn't have other things to keep him busy.

    By Anonymous Bill, at October 29, 2009 3:08 pm  



    GOD I hope the rugby scenes aren't as crappy as the ones in Forever Strong. Maybe include some actual game footage? It's not like it doesn't exist already... Sort of like a "Matt Damon stunt double"

    By Anonymous Luke, at October 29, 2009 3:19 pm  

  • Been following this movie for a while, pretty sure its original title was 'The Human Factor'

    Isaac Feau'nati plays Jonah Lomu...wonder why they didnt ask the big man himself?

    By Anonymous The Inside Shoulder, at October 29, 2009 3:20 pm  

  • We weren't favourites. We beat (an aging) Australia team in the first game of the tournament and some people started to believe, but most people thought NZ with Lomu were unstoppable.

    From the trailer, Damon was a pretty inspired choice to play Pienaar, but more me the litmus test will be how well they capture the atmosphere in SA through the tournament. Still gives me shivers down my spine when I remember how the excitement built through those four weeks... and when Francois made the famous 42 million remark, that was pure Hollywood. Literally.

    By Anonymous Edbok, at October 29, 2009 3:23 pm  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger vinniechan, at October 29, 2009 3:27 pm  

  • I actually thought this was a joke when I originally heard about it because the cast is really good. As a devoted rugby fan I hope it lives up to my expectations having watched the trailer because I think it looks pretty decent. Agree with what everyone's saying about the rugby footage of the matches hopefully not being pony. Hope it does our sport justice.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 29, 2009 3:33 pm  

  • Million Dollar Baby meets rugby, meets pro-black propoganda.

    Anyone would think that Mandela was playing in the first XV that day.

    By Anonymous Winnie 'The Murderer' Mandela, at October 29, 2009 3:46 pm  

  • I'll definitely be seeing it when it comes out. Might not be absolutely 100% accurate but the overall message seems to be spot on.

    Also, the rugby scenes look like they've been filmed really well.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 29, 2009 4:13 pm  

  • Hope it raises to the standards... good way to show rugby to a lot of people, Matt Damon is very much like Francois Pienaar, although Freeman has way too much american accent.

    By Anonymous Joost, at October 29, 2009 4:15 pm  

  • This will be shite i think, Matt Damon okaying a rugby player will not be effective, they should have got an actor who grew up in a rugby playing country + the rugby on display will be a pile of wank

    By Anonymous Eddingtonsons, at October 29, 2009 4:18 pm  

  • Jeez - I actually got goose bumps watching that: I know it's a Hollywood make-over, but it looks like Clint has done a pretyy decent job (doesn't he always?) - waiting for the real thing in eager anticipation!

    By Blogger Larry Butchins, at October 29, 2009 4:36 pm  

  • What a lame excuse for a film. This will be in bargain baskets going for £2.

    By Anonymous HNNN, at October 29, 2009 4:53 pm  

  • Do you reckon they will put in the movie the scene where the All Blacks have their food poisoned the night before the final?
    Big P

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 29, 2009 5:20 pm  

  • Yeh, im left feeling that this is gonna be toilet....whilst SA can be proud of the whole affair in 1995 im really not convinced about the movie aspect.

    Im getting ready to cringe at the thought of them trying to get matt damon to do rugby orientated stuff.....i mean, trying to make a movie out of runs and tries that actually happened....its different if it was a typical american football film where you have some acting and a load of made up plays but an actual event.....

    Also, seriously its like they make out that without mandela all hope is lost.....inspirational stuff is one thing but when it comes down to it, its up to the 15 guys on the field as to who wins or loses....

    (and the subs...waterboy..lol)

    By Anonymous No.7, at October 29, 2009 5:22 pm  

  • 'Diplomatic Imunity'.

    Well someone had to say it.

    Actually as a film buff more so than rugby, Damon plays rugby in the opening montage of The Departed, Boston is a rugby town afterall. He's wearing the number 10 jersey while playing openside flanker in a scrum. Scorsese should've known better, they're not London Irish (ie, on def scrums, Irish 10 plays 8).

    Actually Aaron Eckhart, the guy who played Two Face in Batman played rugby for years and is blond, has Pienaar's chin and is easily over 6ft. Also Batsy himself, as a Welshman played schools rugby.

    Wonder if it'll show Mandela sneaking into the ABs hotel the night before with a vial clearly marked 'Child's Ear Medicine'. Also, with a curly extravagant moustache and Mr Burns' laugh. Excellent!!!!

    By Anonymous Huh!! the 3rd, at October 29, 2009 6:14 pm  

  • hate voir, hate de le voir!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 29, 2009 6:41 pm  

  • This film is not primarily a rugby film, it is based upon the John Carlin book, "playing the enemy", which examines how Mandela used rugby and the world cup as a political tool to unite blacks and afrikaners.

    The book was originally written for an american audience, so don't expect the rugby to be anything great. The story, however is good and if your interested in mandela and the events around his release the film will be worth watching.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 29, 2009 7:02 pm  

  • What's with all the negativity? Firstly, there are a lot of strong opinions being thrown around based on a very short trailer. Clint knows what he's doing (he proved that in million dollar baby) and while I find it somewhat strange that a rugby film is being taken on by an American, don't think that they won't have done their research! They also clearly have a big budget to play with so I would expect this to be pretty impressive. I think it will be very interesting to see the political viewpoint (and who cares if they embellish the details a bit). No one's going to come away from it thinking that Mandella won them the world cup.

    Very much looking forward to this. Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe this is the first big budget rugby film ever and I really expect the action to be top notch.

    By Anonymous Rob, at October 29, 2009 7:46 pm  

  • Sorry but that looked hilarious!

    By Anonymous goodNumber10, at October 29, 2009 7:52 pm  



    By Anonymous voilevogels, at October 29, 2009 8:01 pm  

  • at 1:50 the guy holding the ball, i swear to god thats bobby skinstad...

    By Anonymous ToddTheClutchClever, at October 29, 2009 9:14 pm  

  • Its a cool idea and i suspect Hollywood will change a helluvalot. Great cast at least. Bet the rugby will make fans wince :D

    By Anonymous David, at October 29, 2009 9:25 pm  

  • God I hope the Haka is atleast better then in forever strong. That was imbarassing. Anyway this movie looks pretty good

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 29, 2009 9:36 pm  

  • The fella in the green mile has gotta be Lomu

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 29, 2009 10:10 pm  

  • Will this include the waitress? ;)

    By Anonymous JLH, at October 29, 2009 10:38 pm  

  • meh like rugbydump says, its not really aimed at us.

    still, hollywood writers cant top trump match speeches like Ian McGeechans

    By Anonymous B, at October 29, 2009 10:40 pm  

  • Loved the book, except for no mention at all of the suspicious "food poisoning" among the AB's right before the final.

    By Anonymous Ref, at October 30, 2009 12:10 am  

  • I'm banking that Morgan Freeman runs down from the stands and dumps Lomu into touch five yards from the line in the last minute of the game.

    By Blogger Mi Vida, at October 30, 2009 12:15 am  

  • what a load of tosh

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 30, 2009 12:16 am  

  • haha, Mi Vida, good one. That'd be hilarious.
    I can see him kicking the winning field goal from 45 metres out then saying something really sollemn.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 30, 2009 12:23 am  

  • Wow, so much jealousy going around here. Not the Boks fault that we are the best in the world and get hollywood movies done about us, winning our first (out of 2) world cups.

    This movie will be amazing, everyone will see how much better the Springboks are than everyone else. The hardships with everything, and we're still the best.

    Haha! New Zealand, you lose in this epic movie that is going to win many awards.

    By Anonymous Wickus, at October 30, 2009 12:41 am  

  • ROFL! you guys actually think the All Blacks were food poisoned? wow you have some sort of imagination. Trust me, if they were food poisoned they would be unable to play for atleast a week, idiots.

    By Anonymous Johan Ackerman, at October 30, 2009 12:44 am  

  • Great movie for the best team in the world.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 30, 2009 12:59 am  

  • "still, hollywood writers cant top trump match speeches like Ian McGeechans"

    Don't be an idiot. Clearly you haven't seen the 'Inch by Inch' speech by Al Pacino in 'Any Given Sunday'.

    Head and shoulders above anything the semi-literate McGeechan has produced.

    Get a clue.

    It's also a shame how some much needed international exposure is shunned by most.

    Call yourself rugby fans?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 30, 2009 1:01 am  

  • no-one can play the part of a rugby player without being one, damon looks too small. hope it does well though. at the start i thought it was shawshank hehe

    By Anonymous sam, at October 30, 2009 1:15 am  

  • LAME. Bargain basket dvd is right. If Matt Damon was orating Shakespeare in my back garden I'd pull the curtains and put on some loud music.

    By Anonymous Lorcan, at October 30, 2009 1:55 am  

  • FINALLY a rugby film wooooooo

    By Blogger Alexander, at October 30, 2009 2:13 am  

  • Im not sure how many people here are posting from the States but I was born and raised here and got into rugby in high school. Last night the movie got TOP advertising space during the first game of the World Series. So even if it doesnt have the best game scenes or what the background story is because in my mind if it raises the awareness and gets more people playing rugby in the States i would say its a success.

    By Anonymous Bear, at October 30, 2009 3:19 am  

  • "ROFL! you guys actually think the All Blacks were food poisoned? wow you have some sort of imagination. Trust me, if they were food poisoned they would be unable to play for atleast a week, idiots."

    Umm...maybe we should postpone the final ...

    "Hey, umm can we play the final next week coz half of my team is sick..."

    "What are them, toddlers?"


    By Anonymous JLH, at October 30, 2009 3:55 am  

  • I should imagine the rugby in this movie is going to be as bad as the surfing in "Point Break".

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 30, 2009 11:42 am  

  • To the Anon above, The rugby in the clips looked incredibly good, and they have had practice with all those American football movies.

    Stop this jealousy. The whole world will soon see what rugby is about, the Springboks.

    By Anonymous JOse, at October 30, 2009 12:10 pm  

  • "JLH, they would be replaced, prick.

    Lol, what if the whole squad is sick aight? :) call in all NPC players: :)

    and oh btw didnt Matt Damon play the bad cop in The Departed? IIRC there was a scene where the cops played rugby and Damon was scrummaging on the flank. Fubby how Piennar was a flanker as well :)


    By Anonymous JLH, at October 30, 2009 12:24 pm  

  • I CANNOT WAIT!!!!!!!!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 30, 2009 12:30 pm  

  • Matt Damon would have done a great Shalk Burger, I think...

    By Blogger Martin, at October 30, 2009 1:36 pm  

  • Guys and Girls, this is a RUGBY movie - and as rugby fans we should all celebrate it because we all know this will increase awareness of the best game in the world. As a bok supporter I did have my doubts...but then I thought, hmmmm lets wait and see... Let's just hope that the Rugby played is actual Rugby - you cannot film that type of intensity.. well especially the final btw the Black and Boks!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 30, 2009 2:07 pm  

  • Nooooo - the rugby players all look too small...but besides that this should be a good film - I just hope they include actual footage - especially when Nelson Mandela walks out onto the field and the White South Africans cheer his name - even as a non bok fan I got goosebumps because that is history in the making right there!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 30, 2009 2:10 pm  

  • I will watch it! Hope the Boks still win ( afterall you never know what hollywood might do, a twist at the end??)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 30, 2009 2:11 pm  

  • i hope they get the SA arrogance right in the movie....Just kidding !

    Why not get Francois Pienaar to play Francois Pienaar ? He looks pretty much the same even after all these years....

    By Anonymous Third Centre, at October 30, 2009 3:47 pm  

  • I can't wait to see this, all rugby fans and fans of the human drama that is life should read the book.

    This movie is about more than just rugby, it is unfortunate that us rugby simpletons can't appreciate that.

    Winne "the murderer" Mandela, you are an idiot.

    Mi Va that was pretty good.

    By Anonymous Canadian Content, at October 30, 2009 4:00 pm  

  • As long as it's better than 'Forever Strong' (not a tall order, to be sure).

    I read that there's going to be 30-40 minutes of rugby action and that past coaches and players were brought in to train the actors.

    With Freeman, Damon and Eastwood it should be pretty good.

    By Anonymous www.realrugby.com, at October 30, 2009 4:58 pm  

  • Cccording to wikipedia, Damon got intensive coaching from Chester Williams.
    Prior to that, there was a cameo of him playing rugby (in the back row incidentally) in the Infernal Affairs.
    Sure that could have been a political tool at the time but who could blame Nelson for that when the outcome was good?
    I'd be satisfy if the overall portrayal of rugby is more or less fair (better than Forever Strong please!)

    By Blogger vinniechan, at October 30, 2009 5:28 pm  

  • i agree with the intro,the trailer seems to make out that mandela was the mastermind behind the world cup win.apart from that,the movie looks pretty good and matt damon seems to have done a decent job as pienaar

    By Anonymous Ireland for world cup 2011!!!, at October 30, 2009 5:35 pm  

  • is it just me or do a lot of SA flankers look like matt damon? juan smith,francois piennar,brussow a little?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 30, 2009 9:13 pm  

  • LOL if hollywood really got to it you could imagine the result would be different!

    America would win the world cup! lol

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 31, 2009 4:33 am  

  • I heard that mat damon took arrogance lessons to get the south african character just right.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 31, 2009 9:23 am  

  • To the above anon, if they had cast you - they wouldn't have to have paid for arrogance lessons!! Ass!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 31, 2009 10:38 am  

  • It's funny how some take being partiotic and competitive as hell as arrogance. There is a reason THE BOKS are WORLD CHAMPIONS & no 1 in the world - deal with it! All of the arrogance remarks most likely come from teams fans who are placed way below 5th on the IRB ranking - my point EXACTLY!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 31, 2009 10:44 am  

  • *patriotic

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 31, 2009 10:46 am  

  • Part of Mat Damons arrogrance lessons required him to come onto Rugbydump and read south african comments.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 31, 2009 11:17 am  

  • To the above, and yours!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 31, 2009 12:14 pm  

  • Looks like a good film, can't wait!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 31, 2009 1:48 pm  

  • The initial title of the film was 'Arrogrance' but the producers felt it would alienate south africans, as they would be the only people that would watch it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 31, 2009 10:48 pm  

  • I was 22 in 1995. After Lomu bulldozed England in the semi nobody thought anyone could stop Lomu. It's hard to appreciate just how feared he was ...he was seen as some kind of freak who could nto be stopped. James Small did an amazing job and Joost's VDW tackle on Lomu as he steamed through the SA defense in the first 5 minutes made them believe. For me, that 95 final was one of the greatest games ever...a titanic struggle...real edge of the seat stuff with overtime as well...even though there were no tries.

    Just goes to show that the score does not have to be 45-40 to be a great game.

    By Blogger Jonathan, at November 01, 2009 12:52 am  

  • Poor old New Zealand get to see their team 'choke' on the big screen. ha ha

    By Anonymous Jasper, at November 01, 2009 4:28 pm  

  • lol Jonathon, your comment brought back a memory of an interview that some tv channel did with Martin Johnson, in which he talked about that match. He said "When I saw Lomu steam roll over ....(<<< insert names there!) I thought....riiiiight its going to be a long day"

    Im not so sure about this movie, I think I'll watch it if/when it comes onto tv at some time, i wouldnt see it in the cinema or buy it.... (if it goes to the cinema.)

    To be honest i understand where people are coming from with their comments saying we should be happy because rugby will become more well known....but I dunno, rugby is already very well known, will watching a movie really inspire someone to play?!?

    By Anonymous No.7, at November 01, 2009 5:09 pm  

  • Wow this really looks like it will be quite good :)

    By Blogger Shane, at November 01, 2009 9:52 pm  

  • As always, an otherwise positive rugby news gets tainted with embarrassing bickerings between SA and NZ fans.

    For shame.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 02, 2009 3:34 am  


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 02, 2009 3:52 pm  

  • I have read the screenplay for invictus, quite enjoyable actually.
    Although they make the all blacks come off as arrogant, and only wanting to win with attractive rugby (wasnt that world cup 03 and since?) and there is also a nasty edit when mandela shakes lomu's hand before the final.
    NZ will have revenge when this goes up against Peter Jackson at the oscars............ unless he gets poisoned

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 03, 2009 8:05 am  

  • Anyone seen the end of 24 season 2? when someone in the crowd shakes the presidents hand and they have some poisonous substance on theirs which screws up the president? .............thats what mandela did to lomu.....

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 03, 2009 3:55 pm  

  • To the 2 Anons above ^^

    Very funny.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 04, 2009 1:21 am  

  • Hey JLH,

    What does that stand for? Jerkoff Loser Homo?

    The ABs were poisoned. Fact. If they hadn't been, maybe they would have won. Now we'll never know.

    But we DO know they WERE poisoned.

    Of course, you know better because you were there, right? Yeah, RIGHT!

    Ever wonder why you have no mates? Crawl back into whatever hole you crawled out of, you tosser.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 10, 2009 8:34 am  

  • Has anyone seen the Invictus campaign on Facebook? There are a number of images from the 1995 World Cup finale which you can tag yourself in if you were there. Even Francois Pienaar has tagged himself! Check it out here: http://bit.ly/invictusrugby

    By Anonymous Bokkie, at December 18, 2009 10:05 am  

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