Actor Idris Elba made his feature directorial debut with the 2018 crime drama Yardie, and earlier this year we heard that he would be following that up with an action thriller called Infernus. That movie was supposed to get started filming in October, but appears to have been disrupted by the strikes. So while we wait to hear what’s going to happen with Infernus, The Hollywood Reporter has broken the news that Elba is teaming up with Martin Owen (The Loneliest Boy in the World) to co-direct a survival thriller called Above the Below… and this one is already in production!
Above the Below started filming last week at Pinewood Studios, using two separate stages – including the studio’s underwater stage. In addition to co-directing, Elba also stars in the movie alongside Caitlin FitzGerald (Masters of Sex) and Hero Fiennes Tiffin (the After franchise).
Owen came up with the initial idea for the film, then the script was developed by Future Artists Entertainment, with Elizabeth Morris, Matt Mitchell, and Vicki Sargent handling the screenplay writing duties. The story sees a tight-knit trio of astronauts survive a chaotic and destructive re-entry to Earth, only to find themselves off course and completely cut off from the world. As their capsule begins to sink into the unknown depths of the ocean, their battle for survival kicks off.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Elba’s character is “Jackson, the mission commander leading the team. FitzGerald is Brooks, the mission’s strong willed and determined co-pilot, while Fiennes Tiffin plays Rhodes, an idealistic astronaut on his first mission.”
Matt Williams, CEO of Future Artists Entertainment, provided the following statement: “Working with the UK’s best and brightest in the industry on this complex and thrilling shoot, we are creating a thrill-ride movie that takes us from the Earth’s outer atmosphere to the very depths of the ocean. This is filmmaking at its most challenging and most exciting. With Idris and Martin at the helm, Above the Below is shaping up to be an unforgettable movie experience about the extremes of survival, against all odds!“
Williams is producing Above the Below with Gina Carter, with Pascal Degove executive producing. Lionsgate has acquired the worldwide rights.
Lionsgate’s Helen Lee Kim had this to say: “Partnering with Idris, Martin and their superstar filmmaking team is a spectacular opportunity to deliver a non-stop roller coaster ride of a movie for our 2024 slate. Idris, Hero and Caitlin are three magnetic actors who bring incredible depth to their roles and will undoubtably have us rooting for their survival from beginning to end.“
Are you a fan of Idris Elba, and does Above the Below sound interesting to you? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
In addition to the zombie horror comedy The Loneliest Boy in the World, Martin Owen has also directed the crime comedy L.A. Slasher, the sci-fi horror film Let’s Be Evil, the crime film Killers Anonymous, the sci-fi action comedy The Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud, and the action thriller Twist.