Idris Elba to Star in Showtime’s New ’70s Drama ‘Guerrilla’


Idris Elba might not be best known for his work on Luther, but it’s work that has certainly jumpstarted and buoyed his career. That show is ongoing, but word’s come in that he might take on yet another series, this time one that’s a collaboration between Showtime and Sky.

Called Guerrilla, the mini-series will take place in 1970s UK, at the height of that country’s Black Power movement. This was a time in which militant activism was taking hold in the country — just as the Black Panthers were establishing a presence in the United States — and the series will focus on a couple who makes the move to that radical world. As reported by Deadline, the couple “liberate a political prisoner and form a radical underground cell in 1970s London. Their ultimate target becomes the Black Power Desk, a true-life, secretive counter-intelligence unit within Special Branch dedicated to crushing all forms of black activism.”

Guerrilla is especially essential because the Black Power movement in the UK is, as The Guardian wrote several years ago, at risk of being forgotten. It’s certainly been overlooked in popular cinema, where American stories of civil rights overshadow the movements in the rest of the world, often leading to a kind of American myopia as far as global progressiveness is concerned.

The show is created by American Crime creator John Ridley, and he’s written several episodes and is set to direct the first two. (Ridley also won an Oscar for writing 12 Years a Slave.) Though he is hard at work on the show, the couple around which the series is built has yet to be cast, and there’s no tentative release date.