Well, we continue to talk of seeing Idris Elba in more leading man roles (especially in action movies), and this is one of those rare instances where he gets to shine a bit, in that capacity.
The actor stars in a Paris-set thriller titled “Bastille Day,” that will see him battle terrorists in the City of Light, in a project from Vendome Pictures and Anonymous Content, with James Watkins (“The Woman in Black”) directing, from a script penned by Andrew Baldwin (he also scripted a “Bourne” sequel, which I suppose should give you some idea of what to expect from “Bastille Day”).
Co-starring Richard Madden, the story follows Michael Mason (Madden), an American small-time thief living in Paris who accidentally becomes a target for the CIA when he steals a bag that contains some explosives, which of course he isn’t aware of initially. Sean Briar (Elba), the CIA agent on the case, has to determine Mason’s guilt or innocence, as he soon uncovers a much larger conspiracy, and will use Mason as a pawn to get to the root of it all, within a 24-hour deadline.
The project was slated for a UK release in February, but after the Paris terrorist attacks last fall, distributor StudioCanal postponed the film’s release date to April 22. It does have an American distributor (Focus Features), but no word on when we here in the USA will get to see it. I assume whatever American company picks it up will use Elba’s double SAG Award wins a couple of months ago, with the spotlight currently shining squarely on him as he books more high-profile work, to help market the film; so a pick-up and release sooner than later will make sense.
First announced 2 years ago, the film’s very timely plot, and the talent involved, should help it stand above the deluge, with Elba, an actor with an international fan base, leading the charge.
Charlotte Le Bon, Kelly Reilly and Jose Garcia round out the key cast. By the way, Bastille Day is the French National Day, which is equivalent to July 4/Independence Day here in the USA.
A first clip from the film has been released ahead of its UK opening: