Variety confirmed today that actor Idris Elba will play the villain in the upcoming Fast and Furious spinoff movie, Hobbs & Shaw.
The Pacific Rim star will be fighting against Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Jason Statham, who will be reprising their roles as U.S. Diplomatic Security Agent Luke Hobbs and criminal mastermind Deckard Shaw, respectively. The Crown actress Vanessa Kirby is also in final negotiations to join the film’s cast as Shaw’s sister. There’s no official synopsis of the film’s plot as of yet.
The film will be helmed by Deadpool 2 director David Leitch with a script from Chris Morgan, the architect of the Fast and Furious franchise. Hobbs & Shaw is set to start production this fall to meet its tentative release date of July 26, 2019. Original Fast and Furious producer Neal H. Mortiz is also on board as producer as well as Johnson, Statham, and Morgan.
Since Johnson’s arrival to the franchise in its fifth installment, Fast Five, Universal studios has tried to find a way to make a spinoff for the Hobbs character, given the popularity he has with fans of the action series. Statham joined the franchise in its seventh installment, The Fate of the Furious. Studio executives took to the chemistry between Johnson and Statham and worked to make a spinoff for the pair.
Johnson took to Twitter to welcome Elba to the franchise.
“He’s a baaaaaad man… Every hero is only as good as their villain. Cue the music… let’s dance.”
Elba is no stranger to playing the villain role. He appeared as the antagonist Krall in Star Trek: Beyond and Shere Khan in Jon Favreau’s Jungle Book live-action reboot. Idris stated in a 2016 interview that he prefers playing the bad guy role.
“Heroes and good guys can be flat and boring on an acting level, at least. But when you play a villain there are often so many layers to let your imagination run wild.”
The actor is coming off a very busy 2017, which saw him portray the character of Roland Deschain in the big screen adaptation of Stephen King’s magnum opus, The Dark Tower. Elba also appeared in the Oscar-nominated Molly’s Game, reprised his role as Heimdall in Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok, and shared the screen with actress Kate Winselt in The Mountains Between Us.
Elba is currently on screen in Avengers: Infinity War, and is working on the upcoming Netflix comedy series, Turn Up Charlie, which is currently in production. The series was created by British actor and will see him as executive producer and star of the show. The half-hour comedy series features Elba as a struggling DJ.