Idris Elba in Talks to Antagonize Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham in ‘Hobbs and Shaw’

     July 5, 2018

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Here’s a little fuel on the fire of this otherwise slow news day: Idris Elba is setting up to star opposite Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham in Hobbs and Shaw, Universal Pictures’ planned spin-off from the super-successful Fast and Furious franchise. Details are scarce at the moment except to say that Elba would play the villain who aims to shut down whatever plan unites former Diplomatic Security Service agent Luke Hobbs and military veteran/mercenary/convict Deckard Shaw.

Variety reports, and our own Jeff Sneider confirms, that Elba is in final negotiations for the part in Universal’s spin-off. Deadpool 2 director David Leitch is at the helm to direct from a script by Chris Morgan, the franchise’s screenwriting architect since Tokyo Drift. Plot details are slim to none beyond the team-up of the title characters who were previously at odds in the film series but worked out their differences using fisticuffs and charisma. Elba would make a solid addition to the cast assuming his villainous role is significant enough to weather the combined forces of Hobbs and Shaw. We’ll find out for sure when the film hits theaters on July 26, 2019.

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Image via Focus Features

News of Elba’s casting comes just days after the addition of Vanessa Kirby (The Crown) as Deckard’s sister, who also happens to be Owen Shaw’s sister, if I’ve got my genetics right. In addition to her sister status, Kirby’s character would also be an MI5 agent, as you do. The Shaw Family story is shaping up to be an interesting one since we’ve got a combination of former military officers, mercenaries, and the UK’s domestic counterintelligence security service operatives. And then there’s Shaw matriarch Magdelene (Helen Mirren) who may yet make another appearance. The Universal film is on schedule to start production this fall.

Here’s what Johnson had to say about it:

As for Elba, he’s currently busy with production on the Netflix comedy series Turn Up Charlie, a project which he created and will also star in and executive produce. The story follows the title character, a down-on-his luck DJ who’s tasked with caring for his famous friend’s troublemaking daughter.

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Image via Screen Gems

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