Idris Elba has played a lot of different characters in a lot of different types of films and television shows over the years, but one thing he hasn’t tackled with any regularity is the role of a romantic lead. The actor may have just found a perfect way to rectify that hole in his resume, though.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Idris Elba is in talks to play the male lead in the romantic drama The Mountain Between Us. The film was originally slated to star Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) and Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy), but both parties have dropped out.

The Mountain Between Us will be based on the novel of the same name by Charles Martin. The book, which was originally published in 2010, focuses on the survival, and growing romantic tension, between two survivors of a plane crash trying to live through difficult injuries while stranded in the High Uintas Wilderness in northeastern Utah, which happens to be one of the largest stretches of harsh and remote land in the United States.

Idris Elba would be playing Dr. Ben Payne, a surgeon who’s just finished attending a medical conference and is eager to return home. When his flight is canceled, he charters a plane to take him home and offers the other seat to the female passenger he met while they were both waiting on their original flight. As their days on the mountain turn into weeks, they must not only deal with the dangerous conditions at hand, but also their own feeling for one another.

I know what you’re thinking, Idris Elba and Charlie Hunnam don’t look anything alike. Well, that’s true. But, when you’re trying to get a movie made and your first amazing actor drops out, who do you want to replace him, but another amazing actor? A rewrite of the script was done shortly after the Hunnam and Rosamund Pike deals fell through, and now the studio behind the movie is in a hurry to find a new female lead so they can start filming in early summer somewhere in the Southern Hemisphere (where it will be winter).

Idris Elba has been working steadily since his television debut in the BBC family sitcom 2point4 Children. His career really took off, though, with his portrayal of the intelligent and determined drug-dealing businessman Stringer Bell on HBO’s The Wire from 2002 to 2004. Elba’s work in that part helped make The Wire one of the best shows on TV, and has helped propel him into a series of intriguing film and television projects.

Since his work on The Wire, Idris Elba has appeared on The Office, The Big C and Luther on TV, while his film choices have ranged from big budget movies like the Thor franchise and Pacific Rim, to smaller budget movies like Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and Beasts of No Nation.

Through it all, Idris Elba has maintained his air of dignified intelligence while displaying steely confidence. But, that’s not all the award-winning actor is good for. He’s also displayed some down home, guy next door charm and swagger and, even while playing the toughest characters, has inspired many a swoon from the women folk of the world. If anyone can pull of a tough romantic lead in a story of new love and survival in a harsh land, Idris Elba can.

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