'Beast': Idris Elba Will Face Off Against A Lion In New Thriller From 'Contraband' Director

Idris Elba once played the villainous Shere Khan in Jon Favreau's The Jungle Book, but now the actor will go toe to toe with the king of the forest in a new thriller called Beast.

Elba has been cast in the lead role in the movie, which hails from Contraband and 2 Guns director Baltasar Kormakur. Get more details below.

Baltasar Kormakur, the Iceland-born director whose previous credits include Contraband, The Deep, 2 Guns, Everest, The Oath, and Adrift, is set to make this new Beast movie for Universal Pictures, according to Deadline. Plot details are still slim, but the film is reportedly in the vein of Jaume Collet-Serra's hyper-focused Blake Lively survival thriller The Shallows, "but instead of sharks, a lion [will] be involved as a the central antagonist."

Idris Elba vs. a lion? Sign me the hell up. Elba is a terrific actor with an impressive range, and while I appreciate his dramas as much as the next cinephile, I've always kind of hoped that he'd lean into action hero mode a little bit more since he's evidently not going to be the next James Bond. Maybe starring in a fun B-movie where he faces off against a lion will spark a new era of his career where he can pull a Liam Neeson and release one of these types of movies every few years. There must be something in the water right now with lions, because Megan Fox just starred in a movie called Rogue where she faced off against killer lions, and Barry Jenkins was just announced as the director of Disney's new follow-up to The Lion King. Looks like all those years of lion lobbying in Hollywood are finally paying off.

This film is based on an original idea by writer Jaime Primak-Sullivan, who previously cooked up the story for the Gabrielle Union-led home invasion movie Breaking In. Ryan Engle (Rampage) was credited with writing the screenplay for Breaking In, and Engle is writing the screenplay for Beast, once again tackling a script based on a Primak-Sullivan idea.

Will Packer, who has been one of the most successful producers in Hollywood over the past several years thanks to films like Straight Outta Compton, Ride Along, Think Like a Man, and Girls Trip, is producing this movie along with his production partner James Lopez. They previously worked with Primak-Sullivan and Engle on Breaking In. Kormakur is producing as well.