Idris Elba has reiterated his interest in stepping into more directorial roles and says that it is a “very healthy” time to be a filmmaker.
Elba was at the Berlin Film Festival for the European premiere of Yardie, his directorial debut. Deadline understands that Elba has already decided on his next project and is in the process of holding talks with backers, while he has also recently stated his interest in making a musical.
“I certainly want to direct more, after 30 years as an actor, this is the best of all worlds,” he said in Berlin, adding that there are more opportunities than ever before in Hollywood and in independent cinema. Hollywood is an interesting verbage for filmmaking because right now 70% are made outside of Hollywood. It’s a system, it’s not diminishing, but it is changing. It’s a very healthy time to be a filmmaker. If I can get another directing job, I’ll be laughing, if it’s made in Hollywood or Berlin, I’m there.”
In Yardie, D, a young Jamaican, played by Aml Ameen, watches his peace-loving brother gunned down, and grows up torn between embracing his brother’s ideals, or immersing himself in gang and drug culture to seek revenge. Ten years on, he works as a drug dealer in London, where his girlfriend Yvonne, played by Shantol Jackson, is now living with their child.
“The film is a reminder of what makes England Great Britain in the sense that it has always been a melting pot of cultures. If anything, Yardie, as a story, is a reminder of where we’ve come from.”
Elba added that he hoped Yardie had a similar authenticity to projects that he acted in such as The Wire and Beasts of No Nation. He also said that Brazilian film City of God was an inspiration. “City of God was a conscious [reference] for our film in terms of its tone and absolute authenticity. When I first saw it, I thought I was still in brazil, I hope when you watch Yardie you think you’re in Jamaica or the UK in the 1980s.”
The film, which is written by Brock Norman Brock and Martin Stellman, based on the novel by Victor Headley, is produced by Gina Carter and Robin Gutch and is being sold by Studiocanal.