PRODUCTION on Yardie, the directorial debut by British actor Idris Elba, is expected to commence this summer.At least three local actors are set to feature in this production. Actress-on-the-rise Shantol Jackson, who just wrapped on stage in Dahlia Harris’s Country Wedding, is one of the leading locals on this production. This work follows on her title role in Sugar, the film written by Sharon Leach and directed by Michelle Serieux. Sheldon Shepherd and Everald Creary, both of the performance group No-Maddz, are also tipped to be part of the cast. Shepherd’s film credits include the male lead in Storm Saulter’s 2010 project Better Mus’ Come.
Variety magazine is reporting that Yardie will be filmed in Jamaica and London for seven weeks. The film is adapted from the novel by Jamaican-born British writer Victor Headley, with the screenplay by Bronson writer Brock Norman Brock and Martin Stellman, who wrote and directed 1980s Denzel Washington thriller For Queen and Country.
“I am interested in making human stories with characters that are either full of grace or flawed,” said Elba, who has a supporting role in the film. “In Yardie, the audience will see a film that hopefully means something to the people. I’m honoured to able to shoot it in my hometown of London and as a guest in Jamaica,” he told the magazine.
According to Variety, British actor Aml Ameen ( Maze Runner, The Butler) stars as a young Jamaican named D, who arrives in London in the early 1980s and unexpectedly discovers the man who assassinated his revered brother in Jamaica a decade earlier. When his quest for justice explodes into a violent street war, he puts both himself and the lives of his loved ones in peril.
The film is produced by Robin Gutch and Gina Carter for Warp Films. It is co-financed by Studiocanal, the BFI, BBC Films, and Screen Yorkshire. Universal Music is also a partner in the film, with its Island Records label set to release the soundtrack. Elba will also serve as an executive producer on the film alongside Dan MacRae and Danny Perkins for Studiocanal; Mary Burke and Ben Roberts for the BFI; Joe Oppenheimer for BBC Films; Hugo Heppell for Screen Yorkshire; and Mark Herbert for Warp Films.