Idris Elba in Talks to Star in Fox 2000's 'Mountain Between Us' (Exclusive)

Idris Elba - H 2016
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Idris Elba - H 2016

The 'Beasts of No Nation' star would play the lead in the romantic drama that once saw Charlie Hunnam attached.

Idris Elba is lacing up his parka for The Mountain Between Us, Fox 2000’s long-gestating adaptation of the Charles Martin best-selling novel.

The Beasts of No Nation star is in negotiations to star in the romantic drama that once saw Charlie Hunnam and Rosamund Pike attached as a pair who fall in love while stranded in the wilderness after a plane crash.

But that pair fell out, and then Chris Weitz was brought in to do a rewrite and get the film in shape for an early summer shoot somewhere in the Southern Hemisphere, where it will be winter. The studio will move quickly to cast its female lead opposite Elba.

Hany Abu-Assad (Paradise Now) is directing the film, which is being produced by Chernin Entertainment. Peter Chernin and Jenno Topping are producing the project, with Fox 2000's Marisa Paiva overseeing it.

J. Mills Goodloe and Scott Frank wrote earlier drafts of the screenplay.

Elba, who was considered one of the Academy's most egregious snubs this year for his role in Beasts, took home two SAG Awards in January: one for supporting actor in Beasts and one for outstanding performance by a male actor in a TV movie or miniseries for Luther.

He has four films in post-production: Star Trek Beyond as the villain Krall and A Hundred Streets opposite Gemma Arterton as well as voice roles in Finding Dory and Disney's live-action The Jungle Book as Shere Khan.

The casting would be notable given the furor surrounding #OscarsSoWhite. The film, which is seen as having an Oscar-friendly storyline, was intended for a white actor (the character in the book is white).

He is repped by WME and Hertz Lichtenstein & Young.