In a conversation with The Wrap, Harvey Weinstein rejected the idea that he’d actively leverage Nelson Mandela’s recent death to up ticket sales and award buzz for his just-released biopic. “It’s a movie. I’d rather have him alive,” Weinstein said, adding that he won’t be changing the release strategy for Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom in any way. “There are no opportunities. I’m just going to respect the will of the family through Zindzi Mandela [Nelson’s daughter].” So, while this isn’t a time when Weinstein can be accused of using current events to benefit his films (such as when references to Trayvon Martin ended up in promotional materials for Fruitvale Station), Mandela’s passing — and the high-profile memorials that have and will continue to accompany it — are unlikely to discourage anyone from seeing Mandela. Even Harvey Weinstein knows that some things sell themselves.
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