British actor Idris Elba is in all kinds of hot water this week with Marvel execs. First he spoiled a big secret in “Avengers: Age Of Ultron,” namely a cameo which you can probably already guess if you haven’t read the Internet-spanning headlines yet. Is it the credits tag that sets up “Thor 3” aka “Thor: Ragnarok”? Who knows, but it could mean that Marvel movie might be more important to the company’s universe building than previously thought. But on top of all that Elba even kind of dissed Marvel’s entire modus operandi.
Ebla was discussing immersing himself for the role of Nelson Mandela in the little-seen “Mandela: Walk To Freedom.” After completing the movie —which he apparently felt particularly proud of— he felt it jarring to go back into the CGI-world of Marvel reshoots for “Thor: The Dark World.”
“It was really weird,” he told the The Telegraph. “I’d just done eight months in South Africa. I came to England and the day I came back I had to do reshoots on ‘Thor 2.’ And in the actual scene my hair was different, my…[deep sigh] I was like, ‘This is torture, man. I don’t want to do this.’ My agent said: ‘You have to, it’s part of the deal.’ ”
Elba continued, “I’m actually falling down from a spaceship, so they had to put me in harness in this green-screen studio. And in between takes I was stuck there, fake hair stuck on to my head with glue, this f*cking helmet, while they reset. And I’m thinking: ‘24 hours ago, I was Mandela.’ When I walked into the set the extras called me Madiba. I was literally walking in this man’s boots. [Within] six months, the crew, we were all so in love with this film we had made. I was him. I was Mandela, practically. Then there I was, in this stupid harness, with this wig and this sword and these contact lenses. It ripped my heart out.”
So real acting good, fake blockbuster play acting not so good? To be fair, I think you’ve got to give Elba a bit of a break because the situation does sound sort of soul-crushing. But you’d think the actor might watch his tongue a little closer.
What does Marvel or Kevin Feige think? None of them have weighed in, they probably won’t and that’s probably for the best, but when Joss Whedon was asked about it —or at least the part of Elba spoiling his ‘Ultron’ secrets— the filmmaker sounded a little annoyed.
Asked if he would scold Elba, Whedon hesitated a bit but still told Vulture, “um, should he receive an email from me, there might be an attitude of scold. When you have a cast of 19,000 people, inevitably, once every month, you pick up [a story] and you’re like, ‘awww‘ [about spoilers]”
In related news, Jessica Chastain has backtracked a little bit on comments about discussing a role with Marvel. She was famously up for the part Rebecca Hall took in “Iron Man 3,” but in a recent MTV interview she made it sound like she could have another role coming up, which made many speculate she’d be playing the lead in the recently announced first-female-led Marvel superhero film “Captain Marvel.” But once word got out, Chastain took to Twitter to damper the speculation.
“Oops uh oh….I’ve never had talks about Captain Marvel. Was referring to a different film from over a year ago, in my recent MTV interview,” she wrote. File under premature speculation.
Lastly, as per usual, U.K. fans should continue to count themselves lucky. Marvel’s recently announced massive Phase 3 plans? The U.K. will receive all those films a few days early much like many of the Marvel’s slate so far.