Idris Elba has previously expressed his desire to direct, and, in fact, has done so at least thrice:- a short film for Pepsi’s “Beats of the Beautiful Game” project 2 years ago, which was a collection of 11 songs that were each accompanied by short films. Elba, Spike Lee, Diego Luna and others all directed films for the series that aimed to “capture the sights, sounds and international spirit of football” (or soccer as we know it here in the USA). This was in celebration of the World Cup in Brazil in 2014; and there were 2 SKY Arts “Playhouse Presents” one-off dramas he directed in 2013 and 2015 – one titled “King for a Term,” which followed a 9 year old boy and his experience starting at a school for disabled children, and the other titled “The Pavement Psychologist,” which chronicled the intriguing relationship between an affable businesswoman and a charismatic homeless man (Nonso Anozie starred in the film).
The actor is now reportedly set to make his feature directorial debut with the drug-trafficking drama “Yardie” for the big screen. In a profile of Studiocanal, the UK’s biggest indie producer-distributor, on Screen Daily’s website, the CEO of the company (Danny Perkins) mentions this bit: “Yardie, a big-screen adaptation of Victor Headley’s novel which Idris Elba will direct, and where discussions are underway with Universal Music about UMG-owned Island Records being involved… the story follows the rise of a young Jamaican in London’s drug-dealing underworld, with the 1980s Notting Hill setting suitable to many Island artists from that era.”
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“Yardie” was the first novel by Jamaican-born British writer Victor Headley, published in London in 1992. The novel borrows its title from a slang term originally given to occupants of housing projects.
There’s no other mention of the project in the profile which you can read in full here.
And there’s no other public information available about it at this time, so now we wait to learn more when the time comes.
Elba was previously attached to direct a 90-minute film set in Hackney for the BBC; although we the status of that project is currently unknown. He also has produced works by others; there was the British teen-slasher movie, “Suicide Kids,” for example.
The actor is currently filming “The Dark Tower” film adaptation, in which he stars.