By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood June 22, 2011 at 7:14AM
Idris Elba may not be playing Django in Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained (he did, however, win our casting poll), but after TV hits The Wire, The Office and Luther and numerous co-star and supporting film roles (including 28 Weeks Later, American Gangster, RocknRolla, Obsessed, The Losers, Taken, Thor) and the upcoming Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance and Prometheus (alongside Michael Fassbender, Noomi Rapace and Charlize Theron), the actor is anything but desperate for work.
The 38-year old Brit, who has been working since the early 90s, should continue his steady rise to the very top. He's now taking over what was going to be Tom Cruise's role in Guillermo del del Toro's Pacific Rim, scripted by Travis Beacham (featuring aliens, robots, the end of the world, and so on). Unlike the way Angelina Jolie took over for Cruise in Salt (which was initially written specifically for him, though it turned out nicely for her), ThePlaylist clarifies:
The intriguing part here is that while some speculated that Elba would be snagging the role of Lieutenant-Commander Stacker Pentecost, the news is that he’s actually taking the part of Sensei/Pentecost in the script, a black Briton and commanding officer of Charlie Hunnam‘s character. It’s likely the part was retooled for Cruise when he was circling, but probably reverted back now that Elba has signed on.
“Let me put it this way, if they ask I’ll take the meeting,” Del Toro said, speaking by phone from Toronto. “I think Maleficent’s dragon is the only design with the wings separate from the front legs, the only time that design has ever worked. And let me tell you how much of a fan I am. I have a collection of over two or three dozen Maleficent figures, some of them four or five feet tall. I own about 10 pieces of conceptual art from ‘Sleeping Beauty’ that include the dragon and a lot more pieces that are just from ‘Sleeping Beauty.’ It’s one of my three favorite Disney films. I would love to. But I don’t want to put too many hopes on it. They’re probably on a fast track and I cannot take any more projects on a fast track. “
Fast track or not, Jolie would have to endorse del Toro's affinity for Sleeping Beauty in order for him to be targeted as Maleficent's director. Given the aesthetic and tone of Pan's Labrynth, this is the best idea since sliced bread. Or at least since David Fincher for Cleopatra. Sorry, David O. Russell.