Emmy nominee Idris Elba is set to star in a new UK comedy series from Netflix titled Turn Up Charlie. The star of BBC's brutish crime drama Luther, as well as one of the key players in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Elba will embrace a lighter tone with this new series as a longtime bachelor and struggling DJ who receives one last shot at finding success.
Apart from starring, Elba will also executive produce the upcoming comedy series. He will star as the eponymous Charlie, a down-on-his-luck DJ who reluctantly accepts a job from his famous best friend. He's tasked with being a manny to his friend's problematic daughter, forcing him to not only get out of his comfort zone, but gear his focus on someone other than himself. Naturally, comedic hijinks ensue. As of yet, no other casting has been announced.
The new series will include eight half hour episodes, and production will begin in May 2018 in the UK, according to Deadline. Laura Neal, Femi Oyeniran, and Victoria Asare-Archer are credited as the series' writers, and Gary Reich, of Brown Eyed Boy Productions, and Tristram Shapeero will executive produce alongside Elba. Shapeero will also double as one of the series' two directors, alongside Matt Lipsey.
While this new character may seem like a notable shift in tone from the roles he's played in the past, Elba actually began his career as an East London DJ prior to acting. In fact, just last year he put his DJ skills to use in 2017 in both London and New York City, and even performed at Hi Ibiza this past summer, where he served as the show's resident DJ. With this such a strong background in DJing, his comedic turn in Turn Up Charlie may even turn out to be a more comfortable fit for the actor than the sort of roles he's more famously known for.
After breaking out on Luther, Elba quickly made his way into the film mainstream with roles in Prometheus, Pacific Rim, and as Roland Deschain in the Stephen King adaptation The Dark Tower. Tackling comedy may well turn out to be a great move for Elba, exposing his talents to a larger audience. And though Turn Up Charlie won't be Elba's first experience working with Netflix (he previously starred in Beasts of No Nation, earning him a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture), testing out his comedic chops will prove that Elba is still full of surprises.
Turn Up Charlie doesn't have a premiere date yet.