Two weeks ago when British actor Idris Elba tweeted “my name’s Elba, Idris Elba,” social media outlets went viral declaring that the star of HBO’s “The Wire” would be the next 007 spy agent and James Bond star.
To his two and a half million Twitter followers and many more, Elba gave confirmation that his next major role might be associated with the Ian Fleming spy series and that he might be cast in “Bond 25” the next film of the adventure series.
In teasing fans, using the parody familiar to the phrase Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig uttered to identify the classic character, he helped fuel a rumor that the very first Black agent of the franchise would be imminent.
Much has changed since the tease. Recently, Daniel Boyle, the first announced director quit reportedly due to “creative differences.”
Last week, Elba flatly denied he will replace Craig in the next feature.
Probably not a happy conjecture as his fans had hoped but Elba seems to be over the moon about another film project and this one marks his debut as a director.
Stepping away from the reach of the camera lens, Elba directed “Yardie” a crime drama slated for premiere in London on Aug. 31.
The big screen movie feature is based on a novel of the same name by Jamaica-born writer Victor Headley.
Through 101 minutes of adventure, the film spotlights the music of real life Yardies from Jamaica — Lord Creator— “Kingston Town,” Grace Jones on — “My Jamaican Guy” and Black Uhuru’s Sly & Robbie bass and drum Grammy winning hit titled “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.”
Bob Marley’s grandson Skip recently added to the mix, offering “Johnny Was” to the original soundtrack.
“Johnny Was is a true classic, not just in my grandfather’s catalogue but in reggae music overall. The story Bob Marley told decades ago was a reflection of the times. Now here we are years later, and it still resonates today as truth for my generation,” Skip Marley said.
“It’s an honor to be a part of the Yardie project in such a powerful way.”
“Crafting the music in this film was probably one of the most exciting and frustrating parts of making it. I love music and I often agonized about the choices I was making, and that’s why in the end it has become one of the strongest parts of the film,” Elba added.
The avowed eye-candy born to parents from Sierra Leone and Ghana added that Headley’s book “was one of the few books I read as a teenager. I’m not a big reader, so that was a big deal to me at the time and the story stuck to my ribs for many years.”
Headley published the story in 1992 from his English residency and it was immediately acclaimed a must read destined for the big screen.
Written in patois, the dialect Jamaicans, Black Brits and African immigrants relate, the U.K. publishing houses were magnetized by the vernacular and nostalgic reflections of 1980s East London.
Captured on celluloid by John Conroy a colleague who worked with Elba on the BBC crime drama “Luther” the film reminisce the vegetative landscape Kingston, Jamaica boasted a decade after gaining independence on Aug. 6, 1962.
Reputedly acclaimed to be Yard, Jamaica is the authentic home and nationals are affectionately referred to as Yardies.
This film outing follows a Kingstonian and 10-year-old youth named D who is committed to a life of becoming a gang warlord.
D’s childhood’s wish is nourished when his beloved older brother Jerry (Everaldo Creary) is shot. Dancehall dynamism is integrated into the script because Jerry, a power player on the music scene is killed on his turf by a hood named Clancy (Riaze Foster). Rivalry is fueled by D with intensified action to avenge his brother’s death.
Where else would a show-down occur but the unlikely setting of a traditional “nine night” where mourners, grievers and murderers interface to bid Jerry a ceremony farewell.
D is unrelenting throughout and in time become more determined than ever to kill the killer.
His wait grows into adolescence.
Portrayed as a young adult by Aml Ameen, D manages to gain respect as a leader and eventually earns seniority within the ranks working for the top Don.
That leader is named King Fox (Sheldon Shepherd) and his main street cred comes from working in music production and transitioning to emerging a dope dealer.
It all becomes intriguing when D becomes a father and his baby mama decides to send the child to England for safety reasons.
D’s roots in Kingston make it difficult for him to cross the Caribbean Sea with his new family. More than that, throughout the years he remains obsessed with his brother’s murder and refuses to give up the crime scene.
For a time his boss overlooks his behavior however in time, Fox decides the best way to curb his number one dispatcher’s misdeeds is to send him away on a mission.
Fox sends him to London to deliver a kilo of cocaine.
D obeys and after concealing the product on his leg makes his way to the former crown colony.
If Kingston had its share of warring factions, imagine the motherland where immigrants from all colonies and other nations test their mettle against detractors.
To a Hackney gangster named Rico (Stephen Graham), a white Jamaican, D, a top-dog in Kingston is more a puppy on his turf.
Rico is a strong man who has connections with the Turkish mafia. He has established himself throughout the continent.
D is not deterred.
Ultimately D gets his long-awaited wish and meets up with Clancy. There is more to the story. Check “Yardie” when it opens here.