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 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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