By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist June 4, 2011 at 2:07AM
Every now and then there is a story of an actor who has worked hard for years, slowly building acclaim on the back of strong performances matched by a just as tenacious work ethic. One of those people right now is Idris Elba. He had almost a decade of experience under his belt when he took on the role of Stringer Bell in the acclaimed HBO series "The Wire" and from there, things began to snowball until suddenly he seems to be everywhere. He's already got another hot television series on the other side of the ocean in "Luther," he played Heimdall in the box office hit "Thor" and he's currently working with Ridley Scott again (he was in "American Gangster") on his "Alien" spinoff "Prometheus." He recently cryptically tweeted about possibly working with "a very controversial director for a very controversial part" which most assume is Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" but it appears another big movie also wants a piece of Elba.
The Wrap is reporting -- somewhat vaguely -- that Legendary Pictures "is interested" in Elba for Guillermo Del Toro's "Pacific Rim." Of course, that could mean anything. Is he just a name on a wishlist or is there something more substantial in the works? But if he is being sought,
it's likely for the second lead in the film -- Charlie Hunnam has already been cast in the top spot -- the brother of Raleigh Antrobus, who with his sibling co-pilots the telepathically driven Jaegers—enormous building-sized robots -- constructed to fight off the malevolent creatures that have invaded the Earth. as a reader has pointed out, the role is likely that of Lieutenant-Commander Stacker Pentecost, who is described as a black Briton in script.
But Elba isn't the first name to have cropped up for the film. Tom Cruise was also said to be circling the project and as you may remember, he was going to team with Del Toro on "At The Mountains Of Madness" before Universal put the kibosh on the whole project.
There's still plenty of time for casting -- production isn't slated to get started on "Pacific Rim" until late fall, so yes, Elba could theoretically still do "Django Unchianed" -- but let's hope this doesn't start a frenzy of shortlist reports. We've been enjoying the break from them. So plenty to think about, but one thing is clear, Elba is very hot right now and thankfully, Hollywood is recognizing his considerable talents.