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: