Idris Elba to Star in Survival Thriller 'Beast' (Exclusive)

Idris Elba, Baltasar Kormakur
Mike Marsland/WireImage; Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images
Baltasar Kormakur will direct the film for Universal.

Idris Elba will star in Beast, a survival thriller that Baltasar Kormakur will direct for Universal Pictures.

Based on an original idea by Jaime Primak-Sullivan, the script was written by Ryan Engle, who worked on the Dwayne Johnson movie Rampage.

While the story details are being kept hidden in the savanna, it is described as being tonally similar to The Shallows, the survival thriller featuring Blake Lively as a surfer stalked by a shark. Beast, however, features a lion as the predatory antagonist.

Will Packer and James Lopez will produce through their Will Packer Productions. Kormakur will produce through his RVK Studios. Primak-Sullivan will executive produce.

This marks the second reteam of Packer, Lopez, Primak-Sullivan and Engle after working together on the 2018 thriller Breaking In that starred Gabrielle Union.

Universal’s executive vp production Matt Reilly and creative executive Tony Ducret will oversee the project on behalf of the studio.

Kormakur made a name for himself directing gritty thrillers in his home country of Iceland before taking on survival thrillers such as 2015’s Everest and, more recently, Adrift, a waterlogged drama that starred Shailene Woodley and Sam Claflin. He is repped by WME, Range Media, and Nelson Davis.

Elba, who starred in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw for Universal, is coming off the Toronto Film Festival debut of drama Concrete Cowboy and next year stars as Bloodshot in James Gunn’s DC movie The Suicide Squad. He is repped by WME, The Artists Partnership, M88 and Ziffren Brittenham.