Idris Elba has joined the cast of The Harder They Fall, the upcoming Netflix film being produced by Jay-Z. The film is an all-black western that has already cast Jonathan Majors (The Last Black Man In San Francisco) as outlaw Nat Love, who rounds up his old gang to help him seek revenge when he discovers that the man who killed his parents is being released from prison. Elba will play the villain.
Jeymes Samuel is directing from a script he co-wrote alongside Boaz Yakin. Samuel is primarily a singer-songwriter by trade, and previously collaborated with Jay-Z on The Great Gatsby soundtrack. The duo will write and producing original music for The Harder They Fall as well. So Samuel is going to be extremely busy.
Elba is a nice get for the film. While Majors is primed for a breakout, he’s not there quite yet. Expect that to happen once Jordan Peele‘s Lovecraft Country debuts on HBO, and Spike Lee‘s Da 5 Bloods and Aaron Sorkin‘s The Trial Of The Chicago 7 hit cinemas. Majors is the lead in all three.
But getting Elba in a supporting role gives this a nice mentor-protege vibe. This will be Elba’s second collaboration with Netflix, having previously starred in Beasts Of No Nation. He was last seen in the Fast & Furious spinoff Hobbs & Shaw, and will (unfortunately?) next be seen in the Cats adaptation.
Netflix has issues, but one thing they’ve consistently been good at is representation. The Harder They Fall almost got made three years ago somewhere else with Wesley Snipes as the villain but fell through. It’s possible no other studio would have made the film, even with a major name like Jay-Z producing. But it’s now shaping up to be one of Netflix’s most anticipated projects.