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.

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