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Idris Elba in Talks to Play Lead in “Oscar-Friendly” Romantic Drama, ‘The Mountain Between Us’

Idris Elba in Talks to Play Lead in "Oscar-Friendly" Romantic Drama, 'The Mountain Between Us'

Speaking of whether Idris Elba is a Hollywood leading man yet

The actor is reportedly in talks to replace his “Pacific Rim” co-star, Charlie Hunnam, to star in the romantic drama “The Mountain Between Us” for Fox – a project that’s long been in development, with Hunnam and Rosamund Pike most recently attached to star.

An adaptation of the best-selling novel by Charles Martin, the story centers on a man and woman, survivors of a plane crash in the wilderness, who fall in love.

Here’s a summary of the book from the author’s website: “On a stormy winter night, two strangers wait for a flight at the Salt Lake City airport. Ashley Knox is an attractive, successful writer, who is flying East for her much anticipated wedding. Dr. Ben Payne has just wrapped up a medical conference and is also eager to return home to Jacksonville, FL for a slate of surgeries he has scheduled for the following day. When the last outgoing flight is canceled due to a broken de-icer and a forthcoming storm, Ben finds a charter plane that can take him around the storm and drop him in Denver to catch a connection. And when the pilot says the single engine prop plane can fit one more, Ben offers the seat to Ashley, knowing that she needs to get back just as urgently. And then the unthinkable happens. The pilot has a heart attack mid-flight and the plane crashes into the High Uintas Wilderness–one of the largest stretches of harsh and remote land in the United States. Ben, who has broken ribs and Ashley, who suffers a terrible leg fracture, along with the pilot’s dog, are faced with an incredibly harrowing battle to survive. As the days on the freezing mountains become weeks, their survival becomes increasingly perilous. How will they make it out of the wilderness and if they do, how will this experience change them forever?”

Rosamund Pike is no longer attached (she exited the project along with Hunnam), so Fox is now back on the hunt to cast its female lead opposite Elba (should they reach a deal with him).

Hany Abu-Assad is directing the film from a script that was initially adapted by Mills Goodloe and Scott Frank. Chris Weitz was tapped for a rewrite.

Chernin Entertainment is producing, with Fox 2000’s Marisa Paiva overseeing it.

J for the studio. A 2016 shoot date is eyed.  

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film has “an Oscar-friendly storyline,” which would obviously put Elba in a potentially prime position, especially after what many saw as an Oscar snub for his performance in “Beasts of No Nation.”

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