Check Out Our New Look

Idris Elba, Louis Theroux and ‘Top Gear’ Headline BBC America’s Fall

The Brit actor who’s just signed to play maverick cop Alex Cross in David Twohy’s Cross, stars in the 6-part BBC mini-series Luther playing another maverick cop (think Cracker meets Prime Suspect meets Wallender). Luther uses the Columbo trick of letting the viewer discover early on who the murderer is – the suspense comes from watching how Luther will catch the murderer. Brit TV reviewers agreed Elba saved a tired formula “pitched somewhere in that territory between fantasy and cliché that commissioning editors find so irresistible,” humphed the Guardian, while the Daily Telegraph said: “Luther lets Elba down”. Poor early reviews impacted ratings. From an audience of 5.8 million (24%) for its first outing, ratings fell to 3.1 million (12.3%) by episode five. Despite falling ratings, the Beeb announced at the Edinburgh TV festival it was commissioning Luther for a couple more two-hour specials. Luther premieres October 17.

Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz do a turn throwing a hatchback car round a racetrack in hugely popular car show Top Gear. Andy Garcia and Harry Potter star Rupert Grint also test their driving skills this season. Cruise and Cameron’s much-publicised appearance came as a welcome spike in Top Gear’s declining ratings. That week’s episode scored 5.8 million viewers and a 22% audience share compared with a season average of 2.6 million. Top Gear remains popular in Britain, and has made stars out … Read More »

Comments (0)

Idris Elba Is New Alex Cross In Relaunched James Patterson Film Franchise

By | Wednesday August 18, 2010 @ 3:30pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Idris Elba has signed to play Dr. Alex Cross in Cross, a new installment of James Patterson’s bestselling murder mystery series that will be directed by David Twohy. Kerry Williamson wrote the script. Elba takes over the role originated by Morgan Freeman, who played the sleuth in the Paramount Pictures thrillers, 1997′s Kiss the Girls and 2001′s Along Came A Spider. Twohy is doing a rewrite.

In the novel, Cross tracks a serial rapist who may have murdered his pregnant wife years before. The film is being produced by Lloyd Levin, Belle Avery and Leopoldo Gout, along with the author and Steve Bowen.

Production will begin in 2011, likely in the spring. The film will be privately financed and distribution is being set. Paramount is a possibility.

There are few franchises out there with a black actor in the lead role. So this is a big star-making step for the British actor who emerged from the HBO series The Wire and into films like RocknRolla, American Gangster, Obsessed and The Losers. He just wrapped the role of Heimdall in Marvel’s Thor, and next stars in the Screen Gems heist film Takers, which opens August 27.

Elba has also kept his hand in TV. After a memorable arc in NBC’s The Office last season, he played the title role in the British detective miniseries drama Luther, and will next be seen in an arc … Read More »

Comments 61