Idris Elba has undoubtedly been busy recently, with an impressive list of significant roles that only seems to be getting bigger. Though he recently stated that he wants to put more of a focus on his music career, the star of Pacific Rim has still lent his acting talents to several high-profile projects such as Fast and the Furious: Hobbs and Shaw, The Suicide Squad, and Sonic the Hedgehog 2. His current status as a household name continues to serve him well, with the star returning to his roots later this year by reprising John Luther in the upcoming Luther film, as well as starring in the hotly anticipated Three Thousand Years of Longing, which received an admirable six-minute standing ovation when it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.
Coincidentally, August will be a big month for Elba as just two months before Three Thousand Years of Longing premieres, his next project Beast will hit screens. This time the leading man will be thrust into the African savannah and go toe to toe with a vicious, bloodthirsty…well, “beast”. With the action-thriller quickly generating buzz since its recent trailer premiere, here is everything we know so far about Beast.
The first trailer for Beast showcases Elba as the protagonist, Dr. Nate Samuels. Nate and his two daughters are taking a vacation to the African Savannah, with their experienced tour guide promising a one-of-a-kind adventure. That proved to be true in the worst way possible when the group stumbles upon an injured local, before finding a village that had suffered a vicious lion attack. What’s unusual about the chaotic scene is that the bodies showed no signs of being eaten, indicating that whatever did this did it for sport, not for survival. It’s not long before the Samuels family comes face to face with the beast, and their quest for survival officially begins.
When and Where Is Beast Releasing?
Beast is set to roar exclusively into theaters towards the end of the Summer season, Friday, August 19, 2022, to be exact. This means that August will be a big month for Idris Elba considering how his next movie, Three Thousand Years of Longing, is set to come out a week and a half later on Wednesday, August 31, which has already premiered at Cannes to a warm reception.
The only way to watch Beast when it first premieres is in a movie theater, but given the pattern that feature films have followed in the post-pandemic era, a streaming release is likely on the horizon. When and where it will release on streaming exactly is still up in the air, but given that it’s a Universal production, the most likely home for it would probably be on the NBCUniversal-owned Peacock. If not, it will also likely be available to rent from home starting roughly a month and a half after the film’s initial release.
What Is the Plot of Beast?
After the passing of their matriarch, the Samuels family feels lost in their current lives. Dr. Nate Samuels is now without a wife and his two daughters, Meredith and Norah, are without a mother, and suffice to say there has been a noticeable rift between them since.
In an attempt to reunite his family, Nate decides to take the girls on a vacation to Africa, where they expect to enjoy a relaxing and entertaining trek through the African savannah. With the help of their African Wilderness expert, tour guide, and friend Martin Battles, the family embarks on what was supposed to be a one-of-a-kind adventure. Technically they were right, as this was a unique situation they would soon find themselves in, but in all the worst ways possible.
Their nature sightseeing tour is cut short when they find a severely injured man on the road, where he’s in a state of shock saying the word “devil” over and over again. Nate and Martin investigate the nearby village to see if there’s any evidence of this “devil”, and they find a shocking amount of dead bodies littered throughout the site. The bite marks and tracks seem to indicate that this was a lion attack, but what doesn’t add up is how the bodies were not eaten, almost as if whatever killed them did it to entertain itself. Soon enough, the bloodthirsty king of the jungle has the Samuels family in its sights, and it likely won’t rest until his new prey shares the fate of the village it slaughtered.
The plot isn’t too dissimilar from The Ghost and the Darkness, the 1996 thriller based on a true story where a group of lions was hunting humans for sport instead of food. Beast seems to be taking things in a more action-horror-centric direction, but if the concept of Beast sounds appealing, consider giving The Ghost and the Darkness a watch, available to stream on Starz.
Who Is Making Beast?
Beast will be helmed by Baltasar Kormákur, best known for Everest and Two Guns, so he has a history in both action and natural disaster films. The film’s screenwriter also has a history with bloodthirsty CGI animals, as a script will be penned by Ryan Engle who previously brought forth animal chaos in Rampage, along with the story being credited to Jaime Primak Sullivan who is also serving as one of the film’s executive producers.
Who Is in the Cast of Beast?
The hero who will be tackling the evil lion the most will be Idris Elba, who has had too many iconic roles in the past few years to count, including the all-seeing god Heimdall from the Thor trilogy, the human-hating tiger Shere Khan in Disney’s The Jungle Book remake, and most recently as the hot-headed echidna Knuckles in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. As great as he was in all of those roles, it’s nice to see him back in the lead as the main protagonist in Beast.
Also joining Elba is South African acting star Sharlto Copely, who you may recognize as a cast member in virtually every Neill Blomkamp film, namely District 9, Elysium, and Chappie. He’s developed a reputation for having a tremendous amount of range in his fast-paced acting style, able to tackle the role of the conflicted protagonist in District 9 as well as an evil psychotic mercenary in Elysium. Copely will be playing Nate’s colleague, Martin Battles, who hopefully will be just as awesome as his already awesome name. Finally, rounding out the main cast are Iyana Halley (This is Us) and Leah Jefferies (Percy Jackson and the Olympians) as Meredith and Norah Samuels respectively. The remaining cast members include Riley Keough, Melanie Jarnson, Damon Burtley, Amara Miller, Robby MacIsaac, and Billy Gallagher.
‘Three Thousand Years of Longing’ Poster Reveals Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton in High Fantasy