When I went to the press day for “The Losers” earlier this year, Idris Elba was one of the people I interviewed, and before I got a chance to sit down with him, he took a break and went walking around the hotel where we were all waiting. My buddy was there with me, and he’s a guy who hasn’t seen a single episode of “The Wire.” After the press day, he told me that he knew Elba was a movie star just from his time walking around the lobby and chatting with people before heading back inside. “That guy was just cool.”
Anyone who has seen “The Wire” understands that Elba’s appeal goes far beyond the surface cool that made Stringer Bell so immediately arresting, and I think he’s just waiting on the right role, the right film. He was great in “The Losers,” and I think he’s done his time.
So it is good news indeed to see him step up to star in “Cross,” based on one of the James Patterson novels about the brilliant detective Alex Cross. Morgan Freeman played the character in “Kiss The Girls” and “Along Came A Spider.” Those were both midlevel hits for Paramount, but neither one duplicated the success of the novels, which are fairly huge publishing events.
Even better new? David Twohy is rewriting the film right now and will direct.
David Twohy makes movies that people enjoy, but that so far, not enough people have seen. “Pitch Black” and its sequel. “A Perfect Getaway.” “The Arrival.” And now he’s working with this pulpy post “Silence Of the Lambs” type stuff and there’s a chance he could turn into a genuine movie star if this goes well. And why wouldn’t it? It”s Idris Elba, and it’s basically his shot at a “Silence Of The Lambs,” a thriller that features him in a battle of the wits with a psychotic killer. That sort of pulpy material is perfect for Twohy, and it could be a win-win for both of these talents. It wouldn’t be the first time that putting two people together launched both of them to a different level of success.
In the meantime, Elba fans will get their fix when “Thor” hits theaters on May 6, 2011.
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