Idris Elba Wanted for Monster Battles in Guillermo del Toro’s ‘Pacific Rim’

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 13th, 2013 at 11:02 am,

Hardworking thespian Idris Elba has continued to earn himself a strong following in the film/TV fan community since his breakout role as Russell “Stringer” Bell on HBO’s The Wire some nine years ago.

Jump ahead to the present and he’s not only made another strong impression this year with his turn as Heimdall in Thor, he also has Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance and Ridley Scott’s Prometheus on the horizon – and now, possibly Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim as well. Legendary Picture is reportedly eying Elba as a potential main player in del Toro’s giant monster project, but the timing of this story begs the question: Is this film, not Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, the one Elba recently had a meeting for?

Pacific Rim essentially reads as being a mashup of Avatar‘s brand of science fiction, Japanese comic books (or manga) action, and Godzilla-style monster movie mayhem. The sum of those genre elements is a film about holes being ripped in the space-time continuum, giant alien creatures wreaking havoc on the world, and humanity fighting back – via giant mechanical suits that allow them to directly battle the extraterrestrial invaders.

While Travis Beacham (Clash of the Titans) originally began his Pacific Rim script with the deadly monsters attacking the city of Osaka, Japan, studio heads demanded a significant rewrite after the country was struck by a terrible earthquake and tsunami this past March.

Even so, the big-budget effects extravaganza doesn’t appear to be in any real danger of becoming yet another cinematic pipe dream for del Toro – following his dropping out as director of The Hobbit last year and the recent collapse of his At the Mountains of Madness adaptation.

All that is worth mentioning for two reasons:

  1. In its exclusive report, The Wrap says that Legendary Pictures “is interested in” bringing on Elba to star in Pacific Rim, alongside the likes of leading man Charlie Hunnam. However, there’s no mention of Elba having actually met with studio heads – or begun talks for the role.
  2. The Django Unchained/Elba rumors took off when the actor mentioned on Twitter last weekend that he was “having one of the biggest meetings of my professional life today… meeting a very controversial director for a very controversial part.” All in all, though, neither Pacific Rim nor del Toro really seem to deserve the term “controversial” at this point.

While that does not guarantee that Elba is in contention for either the title role or a supporting part in Tarantino’s next cinematic endeavor, it nonetheless suggests that he wasn’t talking about Pacific Rim in his tweet. That should be music to the ears of fans who are holding out hopes of seeing Tarantino direct a spaghetti western homage piece that could potentially feature Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Will Smith, and Elba in pivotal roles.

Leonardo DiCaprio rumored for Django Unchained Idris Elba Wanted for Monster Battles in Guillermo del Toros Pacific Rim

On the matter of Pacific Rim: it’s good to see del Toro will finally be getting back in the director’s chair, seeing as he last sat there in 2008 on Hellboy II: The Golden Army. That’s not to say del Toro’s been slacking since then; in addition to his extensive pre-production work on The Hobbit and Mountains of Madness, he also served as a creative consultant/producer on recent DreamWorks’ animated efforts like Megamind and Kung Fu Panda 2 – not to mention, he cowrote this summer’s Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark remake. So del Toro has very much been keeping busy with quality work over the past three years or so.

Pacific Rim is expected to begin filming this fall for a 2013 theatrical release – so it’s possible that Elba could appear in both del Toro’s monster movie and Tarantino’s Django Unchained.

As always, we’ll keep you posted.

Source: The Wrap

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  1. i really wish we’d get a quality
    Lovecraft Film.


  2. I like Elba, I’d be happy to see him in either, and overjoyed to see him in both.

    • I feel the same way. Hollywood should actually give a relatively new actor a shot. He’s largely unknown in the mainstream, but I think that can work to his advantage, and to the advantage of both films. If Hollywood marketers can’t sell Tarantino and del Toro movies, they need to get jobs elsewhere. I’d much rather see Elba in the lead roles than yet another white actor to join the plentiful number of others already in the game, or yet another predictable picking from the small scope of big-name minority actors out there: Please, enough with giving virtually every high-profile for a minority actor to Will Smith or Denzel Washington.

      • your so right im boring of see the same old typical Hollywood black actors in the lead role i.e. Will Smith. if Hollywood can find unknown white actors and make them stars why not do the same for black actors.

  3. He needs to make Hellboy 3

    • I agree with you AJ, he needs to start the ball rolling on that. It’s what the fans wanna see. I mean it would be awesome to seee different stuff from GT, but at the same time, I wanna know how that story plays out

      • I can’t remember where I read it but I recall something with Del toro saying he would be interested in doing another Hellboy but the studio doesn’t want to. I thought the 1st 2 were amazing and recommend them to all my friends when talk of great comic movies comes up.

        • That would be pretty stupid from the studio (don’t remember which one it was). Now is the time to make superhero movies, everybody’s watching them. And having a Director like Del Toro is pretty much the same as Batman having Nolan and how Wolverine had Aranofsky.

  4. It would be great to see Elba reach superstar status. I still haven’t watched seasons 4 & 5 of The Wire because I can’t imagine the show without Stringer Bell. As Far as Pacific Rim is concerned I just can’t wait to read when filming starts. 4 years without a Del toro film is too long. Pans Labyrinth is my favorite film of all time.

  5. Elba is such an incredible actor. Even though some of the movies have seemed campy or not too serious, he has this quality about him where you think…”Dude, this guy is cool as hell!” of course he would be freaking awesome in Pacific Rim but being in a Tarantino film not only gives you mounds of critical and viewer respect but once you have that on your résumé…youve reached a high status. Plus Will Smith is tired and Denzel is just…too Denzely.

  6. Probably a stupid question, but what does ‘thespian’ mean?

    • Dictionary anyone?

    • @Tim – it’s a fancy word for “Actor or Actress”

      @Anthony – Why must you constantly try to push buttons? You could have just answered his question without the snark, or better yet just ignored him altogether.