Last summer, Idris Elba was among several major names headlining one of the biggest films of the summer in the form of The Suicide Squad. However, ahead of the 2021 year beginning, Warner Brothers decided to release The Suicide Squad on its HBO Max streaming service simultaneously as it was released in movie theaters. As a result, the box office haul for the DC Comics film was a fraction of what it likely would have been as an exclusively theatrical release. Now, Elba is back to round out the summer movies of 2002 with Universal Studios' Beast film, in which he plays a father hunted by a lion with protecting his daughters being his character's main goal.
"Man, this is great, I feel great," Elba said about having a film head exclusively to theaters. "I mean, I just feel like we saw what audiences felt like going to watch Maverick, you know what I mean? And I feel like, you know, not to compare, but we want to take the audience there, too. Maverick did, and Beast is definitely gonna do that and I think that's good, we want to continue the trend of moviegoing again, you know what I mean? Like it's a special environment to see films, right?"
Elba appeared briefly in this summer's Thor: Love and Thunder but the role came as a surprise for longtime Marvel fans, as his Heimdall character was killed off in the Marvel world with Avengers: Infinity War. He also voiced Knuckles earlier this year in April's Sonic the Hedgehog 2. With another film on the way this year, nothing he has done in 2022 will much compare to Beast.
Beast brought Elba and his co-stars to South Africa to capture an environment passable for a lion attack. Though the film will have audiences believing the heat was a factor, Elba revealed that, "It was their winter, so it was freezing." Not only is Elba fighting a lion as his Dr. Nate Samuels character but he is also taking on the freezing cold weather! "South Africa was a big character in the film," the actor said.
Though the big, angry lion does look convincing at many instances on screen, no actual lions were used in the making of Beast. "I mean, obviously no lions in this, but it was definitely, we had to really pay attention," Elba said. "This is a fantastical story, lions don't attack human beings in this way, but we wanted to make it realistic. I was really keen to make a film that just plucked audiences from wherever they're sitting and threw them into this family's predicament right there. So it was interesting, it was really hard work as well."
Are you excited to see Beast? Share your thoughts in the comment section or send them my way on Twitter. Beast opens exclusively in theaters on Friday.