MotorAuthority.com — Idris Elba may be the self-appointed King of Speed but it seems he’s about to focus more on fuel economy. Jaguar just tapped the British actor and musician to handle driving duties behind the wheel of a diesel-powered Jaguar XE. The small sports sedan needs to get to Berlin for its German launch, and Elba will be piloting it from a London starting point as a bit of a promotional stunt.
Jaguar and Elba will create a series of short films to chronicle the trip, and they’ll hit the Internet on February 10 via the automaker’s social media sites. This trip will take Elba, who has appeared in films such as Thor, Prometheus, Pacific Rim and American Gangster, and the car through four countries over the course of three days and 750 miles. He should see strong fuel economy numbers thanks to the promise of over 62 mpg from the XE’s available turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel engine.
Mind you, that figure is based on European fuel economy testing, which is a bit a more liberal than our EPA tests, which should see the car’s mileage move close to 40 mpg by our calculations. That’s still extremely impressive, and we’d have to imagine it’s, of course, due in part to the engine but also to that aluminum body construction.
Regardless, we’re still in wait-and-see mode on that front as the car doesn’t arrive here until 2016. And fingers crossed we get this diesel variant too. At the moment we only know of gasoline-powered 2.0-liter turbo fours and supercharged 3.0-liter V-6s heading our way.
Note, this isn’t the first time Jaguar Land Rover has enlisted the help of celebrities to help promote its wares. Singer Lana Del Rey was enlisted to help promote the F-Type and actor Daniel Craig helped with promotion of Land Rover’s Range Rover Sport.
Idris Elba, an actor with a director’s itch he’s been scratching, returns behind the camera again, to direct a SKY Arts’ “Playhouse Presents” TV drama titled “King for a Term,” which is apparently currently shooting.
IndieWire.com — And thanks to reader (and actor) Hoji Fortuna, who shared the info with me, here’s a description of the project: “A low budget, one-off drama for SKY “Playhouse.” The story follows 9 year old boy, Akuna, and his experience starting at a school for disabled children. It is a heart warming and truthful story.”
This will be the second time Elba has directed a film for SKY “Playhouse.” You might recall that, in 2013, he made his TV directorial debut with a SKY “Playhouse” film titled “The Pavement Psychologist,” which Mr Elba also wrote the screenplay for! Chronicling the intriguing relationship between an affable businesswoman and a charismatic homeless man, Nonso Anozie starred in the film, which would eventually be broadcast in the UK, but, as far as my research tells me, it’s never been made available in the USA (if someone has a link, please share).
As for “King for a Term,” I don’t have any casting information, nor an ETA. Playhouse Presents is a series of self-contained TV dramas, made by British broadcaster Sky Arts. The series started airing in 2012, on SKY Arts 1.
Idris Elba has long expressed his desire to direct. We first learned about this in mid-2010, when he mentioned he was working with the BBC, on a feature film project that was already being developed for him to helm, some time in following year (2011), which would’ve been his directorial debut. He didn’t share much at the time, other than to say that the BBC-commission film centered on a young girl – nothing more. And nothing more on that project since then. Although he’s directed others, including a pair of music videos.
Bloomberg.com — Actor Idris Elba, focusing on life as a DJ, brushes off 007 rumors
Idris Elba drives fast, loves British cars, and rocks a well-cut suit. That doesn’t mean he will play James Bond any time soon. “It’s really just a rumor—and it’s not even my rumor!” he says via phone from Germany. He has called me, an auto journalist, because the luxury brand Jaguar recently hired him to drive from London to Berlin in its new XE diesel sedan, the one that gets 75 miles per gallon. He drove it to DJ a Jaguar-sponsored party the night of his arrival in Berlin.
It was a well-timed publicity stunt. While it is true that Elba has long followed car culture—his father worked for years at Ford, and Land Rovers and a Jaguar XJR are his current cars of choice—the drive comes right after revelations from the Sony hack revealed that Elba was being considered for the title role in the next 007 flick.
For the moment, Elba says he is focusing on his life as a DJ. “I appreciate you saying that I’d be a good James Bond, but Daniel Craig is doing a great job with it right now,” he says.
”I love working with music, making people dance.” In fact, Elba has worked in music for years, playing under the name Driis. He co-produced and performed on the intro to Jay-Z’s 2007 album American Gangster, and he earned a Billboard Music Awards nomination for his own EP, High Class Problems Vol. 1. “I mostly taught myself to DJ, but I did used to lift the speaker boxes for my uncle when he would do weddings,” Elba says. “He was the first to really turn me on to it.”
These days, he plays chill and deep-house tracks mixed with pop and what he calls “party classics.” (Imagine Chromeo, Second City, and Chocolate Puma mixed with James Brown and Aluna George.) He also plays new work from such little-known (outside the U.K.) artists as Gorgon City and My Nu Leng. Elba is enthusiastic. Last night, as part of a stunt, he drove the new XE right onto the dance floor. If you ask him, it was practically a normal day on the road.
“I’m a bit of a speed demon,” he admits, laughing. “But I am a safe driver! I haven’t been in any accidents.”
I’ve added 5 photos of Idris Elba Leaving BBC 1 Radio on November 21, 2014 to our photo gallery.
IndieWire.com — Idris Elba joins Sean Penn and Javier Bardem in director Pierre Morel’s action thriller titled “The Gunman,” which is based on the novel, “The Prone Gunman,” by Jean-Patrick Manchette.
The story, which was adapted to script by Peter Travis, goes: “Martin Terrier is a hired killer who wants out of the game – so he can settle down and marry his childhood sweetheart. After all, that’s why he took up this profession! But the Organization won’t let him go: they have other plans. For one more time, the gunman must assume the prone shooting position. A tour de force, this violent tale shatters as many illusions about life and politics as bodies.” The age-old “one last job before I retire” — “just when I thought I was out, they pull me back In” sub-sub-sub genre(s).
Sean Penn plays the hired killer who wants out. Meanwhile, Elba plays a “mysterious operative named Dupont.” It reminds of the singular name of the character he played in another movie he didn’t star in, with a white male lead – “Ghost Rider 2″ – Moreau; both French names.
Kunc.org — The soccer coach is giving his team a pep talk: “This is not an ordinary game,” he declares as he paces in the locker room. “This is life or death. Ebola has defeated thousands in West Africa. Its key strength is passing.” Clearly this is no ordinary pep talk. And it’s no ordinary soccer coach. It’s the British actor Idris Elba, who is playing the part in a new media campaign to send the right message about Ebola to the right people at the right time.
Elba himself has a link to the West African epicenter of Ebola. His dad is from Sierra Leone, where the outbreak is still surging. He joined a group of high-profile African soccer stars for the campaign, called Africa United — a play off a common name for soccer clubs — think Manchester United or DC United. The CDC Foundation, which works with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is the mastermind.
The campaign features print and billboard ads, radio spots and videos. As the coach, Elba lays out the tactics needed to beat this opponent: wash your hands, don’t touch dead bodies, get to a treatment center quickly if you have symptoms. The ads also offer encouragement and support to beleaguered West African health care workers.
Some of soccer’s biggest stars, including Yaya Toure, Patrick Vieira and Carlton Cole, declare on camera, “I’m no hero.” Then Elba says the real heroes are the doctors and nurses who are battling Ebola. The message on the screen: “Trust your health care workers. They’re there to help you.”
AllAfrica.com — Sierra Leone striker Kei Kamara has joined actor Idris Elba and a host of international footballers to launch a public awareness campaign to help halt the Ebola epidemic in West Africa and to recognise the health workers’ fight against the deadly disease.
The Africa United Campaign message was unveiled before last Wednesday’s Africa Cup of Nations draw which was conducted in Equatorial Guinea’s capital, Malabo. The message includes broadcasts information on the disease and how to stop it spreading. The message was done in French, English, Krio and other local languages.
According to the organizers, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Foundation, the messages will be sent out to the three countries – Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia – who are worst affected by the virus, and also their neighbours via television, radio, billboards and phone text messages.
Elba, who came to fame in TV series ‘The Wire’ and played Nelson Mandela in the biopic ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’, said the campaign has a special resonance to him.
“For me the battle against Ebola is a personal one,” said Elba, whose parents are from Sierra Leone and Ghana. “To see those amazing countries in West Africa where my father grew up and my parents married being ravaged by this disease is painful and horrific.”
In one of the campaign’s spots, Elba plays a football coach giving a halftime talk during West Africa’s ‘life or death’ match against Ebola and passing on tips on how to spot the disease and prevent new infections.
The other videos show the footballers – Yaya Toure, Carlton Cole, Kei Kamara, Patrick Vieira, Fabrice Muamba and Andros Townsend – as they pay homage to the frontline health workers operating in the area by wearing their names on the back of their shirts instead of their own.