It has been almost two years since Idris Elba and his media company, Green Door Pictures, inked a first-look deal to create and produce a number of series for the Apple TV+ streaming service. And the Londoner is finally shipping his first project, a seven-part thriller called Hijack.
In the upcoming series, Elba plays the role of silver-tongued negotiator Sam Nelson. He gets taken hostage aboard a seven-hour flight, along with the other passengers, and Nelson will have to muster every bit of wit he can if he expects to win the toughest negotiation he’s ever faced. The show’s synopsis reads as follows: “[Sam] needs to step up and use all his guile to try and save the lives of the passengers—but his high-risk strategy could be his undoing.”
The story will be told in real-time as well, adding a true-to-life feel to it. Filmmakers George Kay and Jim Field Smith will executive produce Hijack alongside Elba via their company, Idiotlamp. Kay handled the writing duties for the project while Smith will take over the director’s seat. The tandem of Jamie Laurenson and Hakan Kousetta, founders and owners of 60Forty Films, will work with Kris Thykier, too, rounding out the executive production team for Hijack.
Elba may be starring in this new series, but as evidenced with his executive production role, the Brit is also taking on more work behind the camera. He recently lent his voice to the animated character Knuckles in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. The actor/model/DJ even finished work on two other flicks: Beast, which tells the tale of a killer lion, and a feature-length take of his popular series Luther, that will air on Netflix. Both movies are currently in post-production, according to Variety.
There’s another venture Elba’s taken up, however, with the hope of giving back to some of the UK’s disadvantaged youth. While many may now adore that he’s Black and tall, those were some of the very reasons he was bullied as a kid. So Elba took up boxing and learned how to properly fight. But the larger lessons that he’s carried through life motivated him to start a new show where he can share them: Idris Elba’s Fight School.
“When I was young, I joined a boxing club, and my trainer Joe took me under his wing. It was a real turning point in my life, teaching me discipline and control moving forward,” he said in a statement. “During my own experience of fighting, there was a level of peace I was able to achieve. Boxing requires you to switch off all the noise and focus on the moment, a skill that I believe all people need, especially younger people who need direction.”
“Looking back at my own experiences, I’m reminded of how powerful boxing can be on disadvantaged young people, giving them a sense of purpose,” Elba added. “This was the inspiration behind Fight School.”
Watch the trailer above for Idris Elba’s Fight School, and catch the show on Sundays at 9 p.m. on BBC Two.