Beast Trailer: It's Idris Elba Vs. A Man-Eating Lion

First there was "Jaws," the Steven Spielberg classic that scared the pants off countless moviegoers (and beach-goers!) and singlehandedly turned great whites into the stuff of nightmares for an entire generation. Then, there was "Jurassic Park," which managed to override all of our scientifically-based notions about dinosaurs to that point (I hate to break it to any readers here, but there's no proof that T-Rex vision was based on movement, dilophosaurus were capable of spitting venom, or that velociraptors were six-foot-tall killing machines. May I direct you to this lovely dinosaur documentary instead?) and turned them into theme park monsters of the most terrifying order.

Humanity is weirdly great at taking some of the coolest animals to ever walk the planet and turn them into pop culture-defining cinematic villains (or maybe that's just a uniquely Spielbergian talent...). And you know what? I'll admit it. I'm a prime sucker for this "genre" of sorts, and I'm willing to bet that you are, too.

The latest twist on this proud tradition will put actor Idris Elba against one of the most fearsome creatures on Earth: cats. Okay, more accurately, "Beast" centers on the distant cousins of our ferocious little housecats. While on a trip to South Africa, one hapless family and a wildlife biologist find themselves in a battle for survival with one particular lion with a grudge against all humans. Honestly, who could blame it! It's one thing to simply hear about this premise secondhand, though. It's another to actually see it for yourselves, which you can do below!

Beast trailer

You'll never go on a safari ride into the savannah again!

That's maybe not quite as catchy as the famous "Jaws" tagline, but you get the idea. Directed by Baltasar Kormákur ("Everest," "2 Guns and Contraband") and written by Ryan Engle ("Non-Stop," "The Commuter," "Rampage"), "Beast" stars Idris Elba as Dr. Nate Daniels, described as a "recently widowed husband who returns to South Africa, where he first met his wife." Taking his daughters with him along with family friend, wildlife biologist, and game reserve manager Martin Battles (Sharlto Copley), the group end up squarely in the sights of a bloodthirsty lion who doesn't seem inclined to give up without a fight. 

Cue some frantic running, viscerally close-up sequences inside claustrophobic vehicles as the lion attempts to smash its way in, no shortage of shaky-cam, and the glorious money shot of Idris Elba attempting to take on one of the alpha predators in hand-to-hand combat. This trailer has it all, people, and it's basically what the originators of movies as a medium must have first envisioned when splicing together all those still frames into motion pictures in the first place. What a time to be alive.

"Beast" stars Elba, Sharlto Copley, Iyana Halley, Leah Sava, and more, with a theatrical release date scheduled for August 26, 2022.

Elba plays Dr. Nate Daniels, a recently widowed husband who returns to South Africa, where he first met his wife, on a long-planned trip with their daughters to a game reserve managed by Martin Battles (Sharlto Copley), an old family friend and wildlife biologist. But what begins as a journey of healing jolts into a fearsome fight for survival when a lion, a survivor of blood-thirsty poachers who now sees all humans as the enemy, begins stalking them.