Who needs James Bond? Certainly not Idris Elba.
While some of the hunky actor's fans were disappointed that the formidable Daniel Craig is returning for one last spy movie, thus ending the unofficial campaign to make Elba the star of the franchise, it seems he isn't wasting any time worrying about it.
This fall, Elba will be starring in not one but two highly-anticipated flicks (with an appearance in Thor: Ragnarok to boot).
First up is The Mountain Between Us, an action film that stars Elba and Kate Winslet—and only them. It's the story of two strangers who take a tiny plane out of Idaho and end up crash-landing in the remote (and freezing) wilderness and have to figure out how to escape. It sounds like a living nightmare, but the pleasure of getting to watch 90 minutes straight of Idris Elba far overrides any discomfort with the idea of being stranded on a mountain.
The movie required plenty of physicality from Elba, who is no stranger to that type of thing (have you seen the guy?). The elements that you see onscreen are real, however, and that meant he and Winslet had to endure more than the usual rigors of filming—think sub-zero temperatures, hiking around at altitude all day and of course filming that jarring crash scene.
And for anyone who is wary of watching an Idris Elba movie that calls for him to stay bundled up in a down jacket the entire time, just know this: There are some love scenes. (Sorry, was that a spoiler alert?)
It was somewhat new territory for the actor, but he told E! News that he simply sat back and let the sex scene veteran Kate Winslet take the reigns—something she was more than happy to do. "Those scenes are really awkward—it doesn't matter which way you look at it," she said while promoting the movie. "So I just said Okay, everyone, this is how it's going to be."
Come November, Elba will be taking on a decidedly very different role: He'll be starring in the directorial debut of Aaron Sorkin, he of The West Wing writing fame. Molly's Game is a drama that seems tailor-made for the actor's suave-meets-powerful vibe. It's the real-life story behind the now-legendary Hollywood poker ring. You know, the one that involved the Russian mob, actors like Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire and even sent people to jail?
Molly Bloom, the cocktail waitress who ended up running the multi-million dollar tournaments, wrote a tell-all book about everything that went down behind-the-scenes and it was only a matter of time before it ended up on the big screen.
Elba plays her lawyer, who also happens to be pretty much her only ally after she is charged in federal court and thrown under the bus by all the powerful people she was working for. Expect a lot of gratuitous shots of Elba in a power suit, spouting a bunch of fancy legal mumbo-jumbo.
So, basically, it's kind of like 007 after all.