Idris Elba has established an impressive collection of action-oriented credits over the last decade, but the majority of those movies have seen his characters going up against human opponents. Well, Elba has now signed on to a new movie that will involve him fighting a lion.
That’s right, if you’ve ever imagined Idris Elba going toe-to-toe with one of Earth’s most ferocious felines, you’re in luck. Deadline reports that Elba will star in Beast, a survival thriller that’s being directed by Adrift’s Baltasar Kormákur and written by Rampage’s Ryan Engle. Kormákur will also produce alongside Will Packer and James Lopez, and Jaime Primak-Sullivan, who came up with the idea for Beast, will executive produce. Packer, Lopez, Primak-Sullivan and Engle previously worked together on the 2018 thriller Breaking In.
No specific plot details for Beast have been revealed yet, but it’s described as being in the vein of 2016’s The Shallows, which saw Blake Lively’s character trying to survive a great white shark attack. Whether that means Idris Elba will be on screen for nearly all of Beast like Lively was for The Shallows, or Beast will have more integral supporting cast members, remains to be seen, but no doubt the mere mention of Elba fighting a lion is an enticing prospect to many moviegoers.
Hiring Baltasar Kormákur to direct Beast also seems like a good call, as he has experience with survival stories through Adrift, which told the real-life story of a couple who were stranded in the middle of the Pacific Ocean after a hurricane in 1983, and Everest, which was based on the 1996 Mount Everest disaster. In Beast’s case though, this will be a purely fictional narrative, so anything goes. I also can’t help thinking of Liam Neeson fighting those wolves in The Grey.
To say the last 12-18 months have seem Idris Elba appearing in a unique mix of content would be an understatement. TV-wise, along with host an episode of Saturday Night Live, 2019 saw Elba starring in the short-lived Netflix series Turn Up Charlie. In the film world, he appeared in summer 2019 as Brixton, the main antagonist of the Fast & Furious spinoff Hobbs & Shaw, and the following December, he played Macavity in Cats. Elba most recently starred as Harp in the Western drama Concrete Cowboy, which screened at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Along with Beast, Idris Elba is also jumping back into the Western genre for Netflix’s The Harder They Fall, which began filming earlier this month. And having previously contributed to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Heimdall, Elba is jumping to the DC Comics corner of the superhero movies realm as Robert DuBois, a.k.a. Bloodsport, in next year’s The Suicide Squad.