Still from "Luther" Starring Idris Elba
BBC America Still from "Luther" Starring Idris Elba

On the heels of the immense commercial and critical success of Luther, Idris Elba has set up a new TV project - an adventure/thriller minio-series titled Ascension.

Elba has teamed with producer Vivek J. Tiwary and writer Warren Ellis for the new series which revolves around "the history and future of astronomy and mankind’s impulse for the stars," says Deadline. The story is based on an original idea by Tiwary and his wife, Dr. Tracy Dennis-Tiwary.

Elba, who will also act as exec producer, will play two leads in the project - the Egyptian polymath Imhotep in 3000 B.C., and a brilliant astronomer in the near future.

Ellis, whose most recent credit was penning the screenplay for the 2010 graphic novel adaptation of Red, is writing the script for Ascension, which is currently being shopped to British TV networks; I'd imagine, given Idris' success with Luther for the BBC, Ascension should get lots of looks across the pond. Although I'm surprised they aren't shopping it around networks here in the USA.

But this is good for Idris; I love how he continues to take control of his career, just as he did with the feature film Legacy (some of his best work, IMHO), and the TV series Luther; he's being very proactive behind the camera, setting himself up with lead roles in ambitious projects, while maintaining relevance with supporting roles in big budget studio films. I'd say it's only a matter of time before the two worlds collide.