Idris Elba, who, with Matt Dillon, heads a potent ensemble cast in the new heist drama Takers, doesn’t plan to play a drug dealer anytime soon, as he did most famously in three seasons of HBO’s The Wire. And please don’t ask him about The Wire, either – he cherished the experience, but has been fielding questions about it for eight years. Enough is enough.
Miguel Sapochnik’s love letter to American health care and the subprime lenders who felled the country’s economy takes us 20 years into a bleak, bloody future where artificial organs are sold at a premium ($600,000 for a synthetic heart) and reclaimed by knife-wielding thugs once clients default on their payments.
Remy (Jude Law) is one of those thugs, coldly carving up the hopeless saps whose bodies are essentially on loan from his employer, the Union Corporation. He is unmoved by the grislier aspects of his work, perhaps because he buys so readily into the company credo. “You’re not taking a life,” his boss (a smugly soulless Liev Schreiber) explains. “You’re keeping the Union viable so we can continue to give it.”
A native Londoner, Idris Elba speaks with an almost undetectable British accent, one he’s masked successfully as Stringer Bell, a Baltimore drug lord in HBO’s celebrated The Wire, and, most recently, as Roque, an ornery black-ops specialist in the action-comedy The Losers.
Elba, 37, says he’s lived in the U.S. long enough to perfect his American dialect, but that he’s not entirely satisfied with it. That comes as news to Losers director Sylvain White, who sought out Elba after admiring his work in The Wire.
New Year’s Day has come and gone, and by now you’re already too familiar with the films hailed by critics as the cream of last year’s crop, to the extent that the official announcement of nominees for the 81st Academy Awards (due in the wee morning hours of Thursday, Jan. 22) may seem like something of a formality.