Cameras are rolling on Idris Elba’s feature film directorial debut, Yardie.
StudioCanal has announced that principal photography has kicked off in London, with a plan to also shoot in Jamaica for seven weeks. The company also unveiled the on-set image above, giving us a look at Elba directing lead actor Aml Ameen (Kidulthood, The Maze Runner, The Butler).
Based on the cult novel of the same name by Victor Headley, Yardie tells the story of a young Jamaican named ‘D’ (Ameen) who, on arriving in early 1980s London, unexpectedly finds the young man who assassinated his revered brother back in Jamaica ten years before. His quest for justice explodes into a violent street war that could end up killing him and his loved ones.
Stephen Graham (This Is England) is on board as Rico, Shantol Jackson plays Yvonne, Sheldon Shepherd is King Fox and Everaldo Creary has been cast as Jerry Dread. Elba is also in front of the camera, taking on the role of Piper.
“I am interested in making human stories with characters that are either full of grace or flawed,” Elba said in a statement. “In Yardie the audience will see a film that hopefully means something to the people. I’m honoured to be able to shoot it in my home town of London and as a guest in Jamaica.”
Elba is directing from a screenplay written by Brock Norman Brock (Bronson) and Martin Stellman (Babylon, Queen and Country).