'Mandela' Writer Blames '12 Years A Slave' For Film's Flop

The screenwriter behind \'Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom\' blames \'12 Years a Slave\' for his film\'s ultimate failure at the 2014 Oscars.
Posted at 2:31 PM, Jun 03, 2014

Looks like not everyone is happy about the success historical drama "12 Years A Slave" saw at this year's Academy Awards.

The British screenwriter behind "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" says he blames the 2014 Best Picture winner for the failure of his own movie. (Via Fox Searchlight Pictures / "12 Years a Slave" )

The Guardian reports William Nicholson told an audience at the Hay festival in Wales over the weekend he believes "12 Years a Slave" is one of the reasons why "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" only picked up one nomination — it was for Best Original Song. (Via YouTube / Pazarlama Zirvesi , 20th Century Fox / "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" )

The outlet quotes him as saying, "I'm incredibly proud of this film. Unfortunately it didn't get the kind of acclaim that I wanted. '12 Years a Slave' came out in America and that sucked up all the guilt about black people that was available." (Via The Guardian)

The Independent reports Nicholson worked on the script for the Nelson Mandela biopic for 15 years and said its failure was "very distressing" after the "really good job" he and director Justin Chadwick had done. Modest, right?

But "12 Years a Slave" isn't the only thing Nicholson is blaming for his film's flop.

He also reportedly claimed Nelson Mandela's death shortly before the film's December 2013 release put a limit on its success. (Via The New York Times)

The Guardian quotes him as saying, "Mandela died as I was in the royal premiere with Will and Kate. We were deluged with Mandela stuff and after a week we all thought, please take it away, we've heard enough about Mandela."

Then again, Nicholson shouldn't feel too bad, considering the competition at this year's Academy Awards was pretty stiff, what with "Dallas Buyers Club," "Gravity," "Wolf of Wall Street" and "American Hustle."

But, then again, "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" has yet to profit from its $35 million budget. "12 Years a Slave," on the other hand, raked in an impressive $140 million worldwide even before it won big at the Oscars.