Idris Elba

Fans of The Wire have long insisted that Idris Elba was destined for A-list stardom — indeed, that in a just world, he’d be a household name already. And while he’s not quite there yet, he seems to be inching closer and closer.

His latest new gig, in the politcally inclined action-thriller Gunman, puts him in the company of director Pierre Morel (Taken) and stars Sean Penn and Javier Bardem. Jasmine Trinca was also recently added to the cast. Hit the jump to learn more about their roles.

Adapted by Pete Travis from the novel by leftist French novelist Jean-Patrick Manchette, Gunman (formerly Prone Gunman) centers around a professional killer named Martin (Penn) who wants out of the game so he can settle down with his longtime love (Trinca). Naturally, that’s easier said than done. The organization he works for has other plans in mind, and he’s forced to go on the run across Europe. Bardem will play Trinca’s husband, and Elba will play a mysterious, ruthless operative named Dupont.

Manchette’s known for infusing his noir tales with social and political criticism, so hopefully Gunman will be a bit smarter than your average shoot-’em-up. It certainly has the prestigious cast to match — Penn, Bardem, and Elba make for a very promising ensemble. Gunman is scheduled to film in Europe later this month. No studio is attached at this time, though Universal looks likely to distribute given producer Joel Silver‘s relationship with them.

Elba, who was last seen in Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, has several high-profile apperances lined up in the second half of 2013. Those include two big-budget actioners (Pacific Rim and Thor: The Dark World), an Oscar bait-y biopic (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom), and a new season of an acclaimed drama (Luther). Trinca is coming off of Valeria Golino’s Miele, which recently earned raves at Cannes.

[Sources: TheWrap, THR]

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