Idris Elba continues to juggle numerous occupations, from film and TV star, to writer, producer, DJ and even a professional kickboxer who banked a win in his one and only fight after training for a documentary series. However, the upcoming release of the crime drama, Yardie, reveals yet another occupation for Elba, that of feature film director.
Elba’s film-helming debut (after fielding a few TV projects and a music video,) works off a script by Brock Norman Brock and Martin Stellman that adapts the acclaimed 1992 crime novel, Yardie, by Victor Headley; a groundbreaking Black-British story, spearheaded by a grassroots distribution strategy that achieved success through slow word-of-mouth. Elba’s indie-produced (Warp Films, BFI Film Fund) adaptation was distributed in the U.K. by StudioCanal.
Yardie Release Date
Yardie is set to arrive at theaters in the U.S. on March 15.
The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival back in February 2018. Rialto Pictures acquired distribution rights for the stateside release.
The Yardie trailer reveals quite the film platform for Aml Ameen, previously seen on Netflix’s Sense8, The Maze Runner and as young Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker’s character,) in Lee Daniels’ The Butler. Here, Ameen gets to chronicle the life of Jamaican protagonist Dennis Campbell, or, “D,” in a decade-spanning struggle from the streets of Kingston in the 1970s to the criminal underground of London in the 1980s. Indeed, the title, “Yardie,” is derived from a slang term for occupants of U.K. government housing projects, or “government yards.”
However, D’s perpetual motivation throughout the film’s eras is to achieve revenge for his late brother, who was gunned down in Kingston during a festival intended as a parlay for the gangs. While the trailer shows D at varied stages of life, including a reunion with his old girlfriend, Yvonne (Shantol Jackson), and young daughter, what character with potentially destructive case of tunnel vision when it comes to avenging his brother. It’s all building toward a major confrontation with the bleached London gangster, Rico, (Stephen Graham).
While Yardie showcases the work of Idris Elba the director, Idris Elba the actor has plenty of projects on his docket. He’s set to team with Netflix to tackle a rendition of The Hunchback of Notre Dame in which he will serve as star, director, producer and will even provide music. He’ll also debut a comedy series for the streaming giant, called Turn Up Charlie, in which he parlays his real-life side hustle as a DJ into a plot point. Additionally, he’s serving as creator and star of the U.K. Sky 1 comedy series, In the Long Run, and recently reprised his famous TV role as tortured police detective DCI John Luther in Luther Season 5.