Golden Globe winner Idris Elba is set to star in Universal’s survival thriller Beast, which will find him running from a killer lion.
The Hollywood Reporter broke the news, reporting that Baltasar Kormakur (Everest) will direct from a script by Ryan Engle (Rampage) that was based on an original idea by Jaime Primak-Sullivan, who will serve as an executive producer on the project.
Will Packer and James Lopez will produce via Packer’s eponymous company, while Kormakur will produce through his RVK Studios. Universal executives Matt Reilly and Tony Ducret will oversee the project, which doubles as a reunion between Packer, Lopez, Engle and Primak-Sullivan, who previously worked together on the 2018 Gabrielle Union thriller Breaking In.
Plot details are being kept under wraps, but Beast is described as a survival thriller in the vein of The Shallows and Crawl, which found Blake Lively and Kaya Scodelario fending off a clever shark and a congregation of alligators. Elba won’t be trapped in dangerous waters, however, as he’ll be battling a hungry lion, aka, the king of the jungle.
Kormakur is a veteran Icelandic filmmaker who Universal has come to trust, as he previously directed the Mark Wahlberg movies Contraband and 2 Guns as well as the star-studded survival thriller Everest for the studio. He most recently directed the Shailene Woodley–Sam Claflin drama Adrift. As for Engle, his screenwriting credits include the Liam Neeson action movies Non-Stop and The Commuter.
Elba recently starred in Universal’s Fast and Furious spinoff Hobbs & Shaw, and he’ll soon be seen as Bloodshot in James Gunn‘s DC movie The Suicide Squad, as well as the indie drama Concrete Cowboy. Elba is also slated to star opposite Tilda Swinton in George Miller‘s ambitious fantasy romance Three Thousand Years of Longing. He also recently signed on to star in a romantic spy thriller for Apple, and you can click here to read more about that project.