Idris Elba's on a roll this year, thanks to his applauded performances in the Guillermo del Toro blockbuster Pacific Rim and the final season of the BBC's crime procedural/drama, Luther (read our Luther Season 3 review). Moreover, he looks to finish 2013 in style, between reprising as the badass Asgardian Heimdall in Thor: The Dark World and headlining the biopic Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (the latter of which could snag Elba some award nominations/wins for his effort).
So, what's next for the actor then? Well, according to the rumor mill, Elba is the latest well-respected name to have lined up a role in the upcoming sci-fi tentpole, Jurassic World (a.k.a. Jurassic Park 4). As to whether or not there's any truth behind these claims, well... that's another matter altogether.
The story about Elba having joined the expedition to Jurassic World comes from Jurassic Park IV (which broke the story last Friday) and Jurassic World Movie News (via Cinemablend), with the latter claiming to have received the information from a source that is "fairly close to Jurassic World's development [in] terms of the casting updates." Moreover, an independent site, Acting Auditions, has posted a Jurassic World casting notice calling for extras and crew members in Hawaii and Baton Rouge (where filming on the new dino adventure is slated to take place), with Elba listed as one of the main cast members.
Other people listed by Acting Auditions as being set to appear in Jurassic World include Bryce Dallas Howard (The Help), who was confirmed to have entered talks for the movie back at the end of September (following months of rumors about her involvement). In addition, the young actors Ty Simpkins (Iron Man 3) and Nick Robinson (The Kings of Summer) are mentioned in the casting call, after they were reported last week to have secured roles. Finally, Josh Brolin is listed as being "in talks" for a role, which gels with the reports that broke last Friday.
However, there are two matters that cannot be overlooked, when it comes to determining the credibility of the latest Jurassic World rumor:
- The Acting Auditions site includes plot information for Jurassic World that's taken word-for-word from a leaked synopsis that reportedly doesn't account for major script revisions made by director Colin Trevorrow - a sign that the news about Elba is also outdated and/or inaccurate?
- Elba plans to headline and produce the drama Beasts of No Nation, with director Cary Fukunaga (Sin Nombre) having previously told Indiewire that he expects to begin shooting the movie in March 2014; meaning, production on that Africa-set drama looks to overlap with filming on Jurassic World (and thus, Elba may not be available to appear in the fourth Jurassic Park installment).
In conclusion: as exciting as the prospect of Jurassic World costarring Elba is, you should take this rumor with a healthy grain of salt, until further notice.
On the other hand, the report about Howard having entered negotiations to appear in Jurassic World mentioned that there is "one more big role to cast" in the film; possibly, the adult human role that Brolin is now circling. As such, there's a slim chance that Elba is not in consideration for a lead role, but instead has an eye on a key supporting role in the movie, as would be more accommodating to his work schedule. (So long as he's not the token black character who gets killed by dinosaurs after five minutes of screen time, we're okay with that.)
Update: According to /Film, Elba's publicist "says the rumor is not true."
Jurassic World opens in U.S. theaters on June 12th, 2015.