Idris Elba is stepping into the ring. The actor and producer is buffing up for Idris Elba: Fighter, a limited series that will extend the Golden Globe winner and Emmy nominee’s relationship with Discovery Networks International following their collaboration on racing program No Limits. The three-part hourlong factual will see Elba undertake the physically and mentally demanding task of training to become a professional kickboxer — ultimately competing against a seasoned brawler in a no-holds-barred bout.
Shot on location in the UK, Cuba, Japan, South Africa and Thailand, Fighter is produced by Shine North and Elba’s company Green Door Pictures. DNI’s factual channels across more than 220 countries will air the series beginning in early 2017, including in the UK and the U.S.
The adventurous and multi-tasking Elba says, “It has been a lifelong ambition of mine to fight professionally. Entering the ring to further test myself as a human being is a challenge I have been looking to take on for quite some time.” The series is described as intimate and offering a window onto Elba the man, rather than the actor/star.
During training, Elba discovers what it really takes to be a professional fighter and will push himself to the limit to overcome pain and fear, master specialized techniques and skills, and ensure both his body and mind are fit. He will receive mentoring from former world champions, trainers and coaches, and travel the world to incorporate unorthodox training methods and regimens to increase his chances for the main event. Elba does have some experience here, having done fitness kickboxing in his 20s.
Ed Sayer is commissioner on Idris Elba: Fighter and Victoria Noble is executive producer for Discovery Networks International. Rick Murray is executive producer for Shine North.