Idris Elba to Star in Beasts of No Nation

Plus, Omari Hardwick joining the cast of a series produced by 50 Cent.

Posted: 08/22/2013 11:45 AM EDT

Idris Elba is heading back to Africa, this time to star in director Cary Fukunaga's Beasts of No Nation. The actor, who recently wrapped production on Long Walk to Freedom in Johannesburg, will portray the commander of a mercenary army in West Africa in this story of two young boys caught up in their country's civil war. Elba will also produce the film.

The Wire actor is on a certified hot streak this year, making strides in both film and on television. Elba is set to star in a third season of the hit British detective series Luther, and held a leading role in Guillermo del Toro's summer blockbuster Pacific Rim, which has grossed more than $400 million worldwide. He also stars in the upcoming biopic of South African leader Nelson Mandela, based on his memoirs. 

"[Beasts of No Nation] has been seven years in the making, so to say I’m excited to start shooting this — and with Idris Elba as lead — would be me trying to play it cool," says Fukunaga, who rose to acclaim with his directorial debut Sin Nombre and his second film, a dark retelling of Jane Eyre.  Production is scheduled to begin in Africa next March.

Also, Middle of Nowhere star Omari Hardwick joins the cast of Power, which is a Starz series produced by 50 Cent. Hardwick will play James "Ghost" St. Patrick, a wealthy New York City nightclub owner who caters to the city's elite and has plans to build an empire, but finds himself roadblocked by his double life as a drug dealer. The network announced this week that it will end another underworld crime series, Magic City, at the end of this season. 

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