Idris Elba has taken on the responsibility of showing audiences the richness of Jamaican-British culture in his directorial debut Yardie, and with the help of Rialto Pictures, the crime-drama will make its way to American theaters.
Set for a March 15 release, Yardie follows D (played by Aml Ameen) a young Jamaican man who never made peace with his older brother’s murder. With the help of a Kingston music producer, D gets embroiled in a life of crime, until he’s sent to London. There he reconnects with a past love who’s also the mother of his child.
D’s life begins to take a turn for the better until he learns the identity of his brother’s killer, putting him at odds with a ruthless London gangster. The film, set in the 1970s, derives its name from the original written by Jamaican born British raised writer Victor Headley.
When many think of Jamaica they often think of sandy beaches and gorgeous sunsets. London has also been romanticized to just be red phone booths and Buckingham Palace. While speaking to Deadline, Elba notes the nuance of the film, while also honing in on its universal themes.
“It falls in line with a very specific Afro-Caribbean experience by the way of Kingston, Jamaica and East London, but plays right into the heart of the universal human experience of loss and trauma,” Elba said. My work as an actor both in the UK and the U.S. informed every decision I made as a director and my love of music give this film a pulse I know they will feel in Brooklyn.”
Yardie hits U.S. theaters March 15, 2019.