The race of the two Jungle Book films continues. Disney’s iteration has a leg up on Warner Bros.’ adaptation since it has both a director and a release date, and now it has a star. Deadline reports that Idris Elba will provide the voice of the villainous tiger Shere Khan in director Jon Favreau’s adaptation of the Rudyard Kipling book. Favreau’s film will be a mixture of live-action and CGI, and so it appears that Shere Khan will be brought to life via the latter. Elba is currently gearing up to go shoot True Detective director Cary Fukunaga’s next film, the child soldier drama Beasts of No Nation, but he feels like an excellent fit for the character of Khan.
Disney’s film is slated for release on October 9, 2015, so production will likely get underway this summer. Meanwhile, Warner Bros. is on the hunt for a director for its live-action The Jungle Book film after Alejandro González Iñárritu dropped out. Ron Howard was recently mentioned in connection with the project, but further confirmation has yet to materialize.
We’ve got a couple of casting announcements to attend to this afternoon. First up, Idris Elba and Sam Worthington have boarded the dramatic thriller Alive Alone as Matthias Schoenaerts has dropped out of the picture. Elba will play an ex-detainee of Guantanamo Bay working as a taxi driver whose world collides with a prostitute (Noomi Rapace) on the run from a feared crime boss (Worthington). The story takes place in New York City and Khurram Longi is making his directorial debut on the feature, which he also wrote. Per Deadline, production is looking to get underway next month.
Additionally, Deadline reports that John Travolta will lead the voice cast of the insane-sounding independent animated feature Gummy Bear. The 2D/3D animated pic “sees Gummy and his friends—a vegetarian vampire bat, a cat, and a chameleon—fighting to save an alien planet from destruction.” A director is not yet attached and Stealth Media Group is aiming to start production on the $30 million pic this September. That premise is certainly something.
Pacific Rim, Guillermo del Toro’s ode to everything a twelve-year-old boy might love, is a massively entertaining film if you’ve ever wanted to see giant robots wrestle with Godzilla-style monsters. Every effects shot is done with such loving detail that it’s the sort of film that’s absolutely perfect for home viewing. If you like it, you’ll want to watch it (or the choice parts) over and over again, because there’s so little else out there like it. My review of Pacific Rim on Blu-ray follows after the jump.
He can be seen fleetingly in Marvel’s latest film Thor: The Dark World, but Idris Elba will now get the chance to lead a feature of his own. Variety reports that Elba is set to star in the international thriller Bastille Day for Vendome Pictures and Anonymous Content. Penned by Andrew Baldwin, the story revolves around “a U.S. operative who is tasked with interrogating and eventually making a young American boy ‘disappear’ in order to avoid embarrassment to the U.S. government after the boy is linked as the prime suspect to an attack on the Paris metro.” Unsurprisingly, the operative soon realizes that the boy is innocent after a string of other attacks ensue, and the two must work together to find out who is orchestrating the destruction.
Taken helmer Pierre Morel was previously attached to direct but he has subsequently fallen off the project. Producers are currently looking for a director to take the helm. Hit the jump for casting news concerning Hitchcock director Sacha Gervasi’s next film.
Here’s a bit more casting for you this evening:
- Idris Elba (Pacific Rim) is rumored to be starring in director Colin Trevorrow’s Jurassic World. The fourth picture in the Jurassic Park franchise stars Bryce Dallas Howard (The Help), Ty Simpkins (Iron Man 3), and Nick Robinson (Melissa & Joey).
- Jason Statham (Homefront) is about to enter negotiations to star in Paul Feig’s upcoming spy comedy, Susan Cooper, starring Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly) in the title role.
- Nelsan Ellis (True Blood) has landed the role of Bobby Byrd in Tate Taylor’s James Brown pic, Get on Up.
Hit the jump for more on each project.
A new trailer for director Justin Chadwick’s biopic Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom has been released, which itself is accompanied by a new song from U2. The film stars Idris Elba and chronicles the life of Nelson Mandela from his childhood in a rural village to his election as president of South Africa. This new trailer showcases Elba’s magnetic performance as the South African leader, and it also does a nice job of depicting the turmoil with which Mandela was surrounded. This pic has thus far received mixed-to-positive reviews, with many noting that it simply tries to cover too much ground, but I’m still interested to see how Elba embodies Mandela throughout so many different periods of his life. As for the U2 song “Ordinary Love,” it’s very current-era U2.
Hit the jump to check out the new trailer. The film also stars Naomie Harris. Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom opens in limited release on November 29th.
We’ve already seen a number of character posters from Thor: The Dark World, but today it’s Idris Elba’s turn to shine. The Luther actor returns for the Alan Taylor-directed sequel as Heimdall, and I’m personally hoping that the character will have a larger role in the follow-up. The story finds Chris Hemsworth’s titular Thor facing off against Christopher Eccleston’s villainous Malekith, and as gleaned in the latest TV spot that pesky Loki (Tom Hiddleston) will no doubt be meddling in the confrontation.
Check out the Heimdall poster after the jump. The film also stars Stellan Skarsgård, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Kat Dennings, Ray Stevenson, Zachary Levi, Tadanobu Asano, Jaimie Alexander, Rene Russo, and Anthony Hopkins. Thor: The Dark World opens in 3D on November 8th. [Update: A poster for Malekith has also been released, and it's included after the jump.]
Unsurprisingly, Marvel aired a new TV spot for Thor: The Dark World during last night’s premiere of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. In the upcoming sequel, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) reluctantly teams up with Loki (Tom Hiddleston) to fight off the villainous dark elf Malekith the Accursed (Christopher Eccleston). This new spot goes heavy on the action and also gives a little more screen time to Thor’s girlfriend Jane Foster (Natalie Portman). I don’t mean to be dismissive when I describe her as “Thor’s girlfriend”, but I’m not exactly sure how she factors into the story other than hitching a ride with the Asgardian to check out his home world. Hopefully, her science background will make her an active character rather than a damsel in distress.
Hit the jump to check out the new TV spot. The film also stars Stellan Skarsgård, Idris Elba, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Kat Dennings, Ray Stevenson, Zachary Levi, Tadanobu Asano, Jaimie Alexander, Rene Russo, and Anthony Hopkins. Thor: The Dark World opens in 3D on November 8th.
Disney has released a new TV spot for Thor: The Dark World. The film finds Chris Hemsworth’s Thor squaring off against the villainous dark elf Malekith the Accursed (Christopher Eccleston). Recent reshoots added more Loki (Tom Hiddleston), and I’m sure we’ll see him play a more prominent role in the marketing. He doesn’t dominate this trailer, but it opens with him teaming up with Thor. Sure, it’s dramatic when the hero needs to reunite with his villain, but Marvel knows Loki’s popularity, and it’s also slightly harder to sell a new baddie. Better to go with the smiling, charming, duplicitous guy everybody loves.
Hit the jump to check out the TV spot. The film also stars Natalie Portman, Stellan Skarsgård, Idris Elba, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Kat Dennings, Ray Stevenson, Zachary Levi, Tadanobu Asano, Jaimie Alexander, Rene Russo, and Anthony Hopkins. Thor: The Dark World opens in 3D on November 8th.
The first trailer for Justin Chadwick’s biopic Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom gave a nice introduction to the look and tone of the film, but this new version shows off the transformation of star Idris Elba (Luther) into Nelson Mandela throughout various stages of his life. While his accent is a bit distracting (regardless of how accurate it is), Elba’s powerful presence definitely comes across and that’s more than enough to carry the picture.
Also starring Naomie Harris, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom opens in limited release on November 29th. Hit the jump to watch the new trailer.
The BBC’s compelling crime drama Luther returns to American shores by pulling a half-Netflix, if you will. You can binge, but only after four days: BBC America will air the four-part miniseries (also know as Season Three) on consecutive nights. It’s a nice schedule for rabid viewers, particularly as the show’s stakes have never been higher.
On the flip side, Luther is not without its flaws. There are those who have said the show can be unnecessarily and cartoonishly violent (criticism I’ve lobbed at shows like Sons of Anarchy and Boardwalk Empire) while wanting to remain serious. But while the third season certainly doesn’t shy away from these moments, it also retains, as it always has, a good sense of what fans want to see when all is said and done. Hit the jump for more on the show’s potentially polarizing final season.
The crime drama Luther returns to BBC America for its third installment (airing as a four-night event from September 3rd through September 6th), which finds Detective John Luther (Idris Elba) struggling to cope with his own demons. He’s back under intense pressure, with two conflicting crimes to investigate and a ruthless ex-cop determined to bring him down, all while attempting to pursue a chance at happiness with Mary Day (Sienna Guillory).
During a recent interview to promote the return of what is truly one of the most compelling shows on television, actor Idris Elba (who has won a Golden Globe Best Actor award for his work on the series) talked about the overall theme of Season 3, how much John Luther has changed since Season 1, Luther’s new love interest versus his relationship with Alice (Ruth Wilson), why he thinks Luther is a perfect character for the big screen, what excites him about exploring a prequel story, and the chances of possible future seasons. He also talked about balancing his work on the series with all of the films he’s been doing, his preparation to play Nelson Mandela in Long Walk to Freedom, how his experience on The Wire fits into the arc of his career, his desire to do another American TV series, and where he’d like to take his career, in the future. Check out what he had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.
The BBC’s captivating crime drama Luther just finished up its third season run in the U.K., which left fans asking what might be next for the series. The show’s iconic star Idris Elba had made mention in the past of his hopes for a movie (perhaps instead of a fourth season) to wrap up the series, and word is that is now coming true.
Luther creator Neil Cross confirmed at the Edinburgh TV Festival yesterday that he has written a prequel script for a movie that will bring back some of the favorite characters from the first season of the show. But, since the events will be leading up to that first season, that means sadly there won’t be any Alice Morgan (Ruth Wilson). Alice does however appear in the third season, which will run on consecutive nights on BBC America starting September 3rd. Hit the jump for more on the prequel project without spoilers from the third season.
Marvel has released 16 new images from Alan Taylor’s Thor: The Dark World. The film finds Chris Hemsworth’s Thor squaring off against the villainous dark elf Malekith the Accursed (Christopher Eccleston). Producer Craig Kyle tells Empire that when the film picks up, Asgard has been at war for almost a year because the cost of rebuilding the bifrost, “but during that time, when the cops were largely cut off from the rest of the universe, you had miscreants that came in from outside the Nine Realms, pillaging and destroying and causing havoc. So that’s what our guys have been doing now – trying to put all these fires out across the Nine Realms.” While I still have my doubts about the movie, I still love the look of Asgard and the characters’ costumes. I’m also impressed by the makeup work on Malekith unmasked (seen above), and want to see more of him in action.
Hit the jump to check out the images. The film also stars Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård, Idris Elba, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Kat Dennings, Ray Stevenson, Zachary Levi, Tadanobu Asano, Jaimie Alexander, Rene Russo, and Anthony Hopkins. Thor: The Dark World opens in 3D on November 8th.
Here’s the latest casting news:
Hit the jump for more on each story.