After making his feature directorial debut with 2018’s coming-of-age movie Yardie, Idris Elba has found his follow-up, as he’s set to direct and star in the action-thriller Infernus, which Millennium Media will shop at the Cannes Film Market next week.
Robert Mark Kamen wrote the script, which is based on a story by Tom Boyle. Elba will play a U.N. human rights activist named Donovan Kamara who is investigating reports of refugees being illegally detained inside a U.S. black site prison. His visit to the prison turns deadly when the world’s most dangerous inmates break free, forcing him to match wits with a criminal mastermind as he tries to save the refugees.
In addition to directing and starring, Elba will also produce Infernus via his Green Door Pictures banner along with Millennium Media’s Jeffrey Greenstein, Les Weldon, Jonathan Yunger, and Yariv Lerner, as well as Gina Carter of Sprout Pictures and Kris Thykier of Archery Pictures.
Millennium’s Avi Lerner, Trevor Short, Boaz Davidson, and Tanner Mobley will executive produce the film, which is slated to start production on Oct. 9 in London. Filming will also take place in Ghana, where Elba and his partners, Tony Tagoe and Danny Damah, recently opened TD Akuna Studios in order to help build a film industry in the region, where Elba has deep roots.
“I’m excited to be back in the director’s chair, partnering with Millennium Media,” Elba said in a statement to Deadline, which broke the news. “Infernus is a gripping thriller with a relevant and intimate human story at its core. Thanks to the brilliant writing of Robert and Tom, we have some exceptional characters. I’m really looking forward to this opportunity both in front and behind the camera, filming across Europe, as well as bringing our production to Africa, which has an emerging film community that we are proud to be supporting.”
“We look forward to delivering a high-octane popcorn film that has character and soul, as well as an underlying message about the call for higher standards for mankind,” Greenstein added in his own statement.
A five-time Emmy nominee, Elba will soon be seen leading Apple’s thriller series Hijack — keep an eye out for the trailer, which should drop soon — and he’s currently filming the Amazon movie Heads of State with John Cena. Elba is represented by The Artists Partnership, while Kamen is repped by A3 Artists Agency and Boyle is repped by Marjacq.