Idris Elba to Play Lead Role in Adaptation of ‘Beasts of No Nation’

Idris Elba at the London premiere of 'Pacific Rim' (Photo: Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)

Idris Elba at the London premiere of ‘Pacific Rim’ (Photo: Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)

Idris Elba, a presumptive Oscar contender for this fall’s Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, will return to the African continent for his next major role. The Daily Telegraph reports that he’ll co-produce and star in an adaptation of Uzodinma Iweala‘s best-selling novel Beasts of No Nation, which will be directed by Cary Fukunaga (Sin Nombre, Jane Eyre).

The film tells the story of Agu, a young boy from a war-torn West African nation who is tormented by the murder of his father and the disappearance of the rest of his family. Forced to join a group of mercenary soldiers, Agu lives a life of violence, but he finds some solace in his friendship with a mute boy named Strika. Elba is set to play a military commander.

Fukunaga, in a statement, says, “This project has been seven years in the making, so to say I’m excited to start shooting this – and with Idris Elba as lead – would be me trying to play it cool.”

Elba can be seen in his Golden Globe-winning role as detective John Luther in the third installment of BBC AMERICA’s Luther, which begins a four-night run Tuesday, September 3 at 10/9c. Here’s a bit of Elba talking about where Luther stands in this next miniseries:

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself—he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri—he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.
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