Idris Elba

  1. Tyler Perry, Alex Cross, 2011. During various attempts to reboot James Patterson’s detective-psychologist (aka Morgan Freeman in two films, 1996 and 2000), the Brit from The Wire was due with director David Twohy until the project signed Perry, who usually acts only in films he directs. (Such as the series starring him as cliché-ridden black matriarch Madea). Ironically, Dris had starred in Perry’s movie, Daddy’s Little Girls, 200
  2. Jamie Foxx, Django Unchained, 2011.
  3. Harold Perrineau, Zero Dark Thirty, 2012.  Quick change by Kathleen Bigelow for her first film since being the first woman to win a Best Director Oscar (for The Hurt Locker on March 7, 2010). Subject: How the Navy Seal team hunted and killed America’s Public Enemy #1: Osama bin Laden in 2011.
  4. Samuel L Jackson, Kingsman: The Secret Service, 2013. Hey, Idris, howda like to be the villain? Tom Cruise and Leonardo DiCaprio were also asked. All three gave the same answer. The not-007-but… thriller was directed by Matthew Vaughn, who created the  sixth James Bond with the 2003 choice of Daniel Craig for Layer Cake –  “My name? If you knew that, you’d be as clever as me.” 
  5. Will Smith, Suicide Squad, 2015.     After seeing 14 possible Harley Quinns, director David Ayer shuffled through 19 Deadshots. None hit the target. Not  Elba, Daniel Craig, Matt Damon, Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Colin Farrell, Michael Fassbender, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Jon Hamm.  Nor Oscar Isaac, Joel Kinnaman (he became Rick Flag), Matthew McConaughey, Ewan McGregor, Robert Pattinson, Brad Pitt, Keanu Reeves, Alexander Skarsgård and Jason Statham.  Another Warner/DC flop  because Warner wasn’t Marvel and Smith was way  too top-heavy for a team effort.
  6. Oscar Isaac, X-Men: Apocalypse, 2015.    “Everything they built will fall! And from the ashes of their world, we’ll build a better one!”  Producer-director Bryan Singer shuffled through Isaac, Idris and Tom Hardy for the arduous make-up, high-heeled boots and a 40 lb suit of En Sabah Nur/Apocalypse   –  quite possibly, the world’s first mutant.  Isaac called him the “creative-slash-destructive force of the Earth.”
  7. Hugh Dancey, The Path, TV, 2016-2017.   Idris had been first choice for the Cal, leader of the cult-like Meyerist Movement in the cracking Hulu series. Trouble was he was first choice for too many other projects as well…



 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  7