Rialto Pictures has acquired rights to Yardie, the film that marks the directorial debut of Idris Elba. The company has set a March 15 theatrical release date for the 1970s- and ’80s-set crime drama that revolves around the intertwined worlds of the Jamaican narcotics syndicates and the music industry. The deal comes almost a year after the pic had its world premiere at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.
Directed and executive produced by Elba and penned by Brock Norman Brock and Martin Stellman based on the Victor Headley novel of the same name, the pic follows a courier named ‘D’ (Aml Ameen) from Kingston to Hackney in London where he seeks revenge for his brother’s murder and also reunites with his estranged girlfriend (Shantol Jackson) and child.
UK-based Warp Films’ Gina Carter and Robin Gutch produce the movie, which was financed by Studiocanal, the BFI, BBC Films and Screen Yorkshire. The U.S. rights deal was negotiated with Studiocanal’s Anna Marsh.
“I’m very happy that this movie is going to get play in the States,” Elba said in a release announcing the deal. “It falls in line with a very specific Afro Caribbean experience by the way of Kingston, Jamaica and East London but plays right into the heart of the universal human experience of loss and trauma. My work as an actor both in the UK and U.S. informed every decision I made as a director and my love of music give this film a pulse I know they will feel in Brooklyn.”
Elba is next up in the Netflix comedy series Turn Up Charlie, which he created, produced and starred in. Luther, for which Elba earned a Golden Globe and SAG Award, returns to BBC America this year for Season 5.