With three high-profile films in 2013 Idris Elba’s stature and commercial appeal has risen more significantly than ever. The fan-favourite actor has done an excellent job of balancing big blockbusters with meatier, character-focused work, and was a memorable highlight of both Pacific Rim earlier this year and more recently, Thor: The Dark World.
This month will see him star in his biggest role to date as he tackles the daunting task of portraying a living icon in upcoming biopic Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. Early reviews have been very positive, and Elba’s performance is already garnering Oscar buzz. Post-Mandela, the Luther star already has a number of projects lined up, and word has filtered through that he has signed on to lead another feature.
According to Variety, Elba has been cast in the Paris-set thriller, Bastille Day. The film will follow a U.S. operative (presumably Elba) who is tasked with interrogating and ultimately making a young American boy ‘disappear’ in order to avoid embarrassing the U.S. Government after the boy is revealed to be a chief suspect in a terrorist attack on the Paris metro. The boy’s innocence is soon revealed when the attacks continue, but the operative realizes that the boy is the link to finding whoever is responsible. The film will be produced by Vendome Pictures CEO Philippe Rousselet alongside Anonymous Content’s Steve Golin, Bard Dorros and David Kanter.
Penned by Andrew Baldwin, Bastille Day sounds like a more exciting, action-oriented version of the recent thriller Closed Circuit. That film was a little too generic, but the intriguing synopsis - in addition to Elba’s presence - are encouraging signs that this has more smarts about it. If nothing else, it would be great to see a Baldwin screenplay get to the silver screen; the up-and-coming screenwriter has had a number of scripts fail to get produced despite attracting high-profile talent, the most notable of which was a Logan’s Run remake to which Nicolas Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling were attached.
With no director signed on as of yet, it will be a while before Bastille Day starts filming but Elba’s upcoming slate will keep him busy for the foreseeable future. The actor recently wrapped filming Pierre Morel’s The Gunman – whose cast includes Javier Bardem and Sean Penn – and will also be seen in Sam Miller’s family drama No Good Deed, in which he is also an executive producer. Additionally, talk of a Luther film is as unabated as it is unconfirmed, but even so there will be plenty of Elba on screen in 2014 and beyond.
We'll keep you updated on the status of Bastille Day.
Thor: The Dark World is playing in cinemas now. Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom gets its U.S. theatrical release on November 29, 2013.