If Idris Elba is there, I’m there — and the trailer for his highly anticipated directorial debut has finally dropped. Yardie, which premiered at Sundance earlier this year, is the story of a young Jamaican man who becomes involved in London’s crime scene. And the Yardie story already has a rich history. “Yardie adapts the cult novel by Jamaican-born British writer Victor Headley, published in 1992, which managed to sell 12,000 copies on word of mouth alone, produced on a desktop computer and sold at clothing shops, hairdressers, and even outside of nightclubs,” The Independent explains.
And Idris Elba took the novel and poured his own experiences from growing up in London into the film. “It is a world that I was familiar with,” Elba told Deadline. “In England, people are aware of the subculture between Jamaicans and Brits. The observation I’ve had when I was doing my research is that people at large don’t know that this is what it was like in England for a while. But it’s not a page out of the history books specifically about Jamaicans in London, but rather a smaller story about one character and his world. It would have been a very different movie if we were going to make it about Jamaicans and the Yardie phenomenon, when in the early `80s there was a huge increase of violence, drugs, and clashes between police and young Jamaicans. What they called the Yardie wars. I approached it as a love story set in that world.”
There’s a lot that’s gone into this film — and it shows. You can see the trailer here:
The film looks action-packed and larger than life, while still being grounded in London’s grit. The video says it’s coming soon to UK cinemas, but we’ll just have to wait and see how soon that is.