New York-based Rialto Pictures announced today the acquisition of Idris Elba's directorial debut Yardie for a U.S. theatrical release beginning March 15, 2019. The deal was negotiated with Anna Marsh, EVP International Distribution, at STUDIOCANAL.

Set in 70s Kingston and 1980s Hackney (a neighborhood in London with a large Jamaican community), Yardie (patois for Jamaican gang members), based on the best-selling novel by Victor Headley, centers around the intertwined worlds of the Jamaican narcotics syndicates and the music industry, following a young courier named 'D' (Aml Ameen, The Maze Runner) to London where he seeks revenge for his brother's murder and also reunites with his estranged girlfriend (Shantol Jackson, TV's Thicker Than Water) and child. 

Yardie premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival in the world cinema - dramatic competition, played in Panorama at the 2018 Berlin Film Festival, received its UK premiere at Sundance's sister Festival in London in June 2018, and has been chosen as the opening night film at this year's Caribbean Film Festival at BAM in New York City. Directed and executive produced by Elba, it was written by Brock Norman Brock and Martin Stellman and produced by Gina Carter and Robin Gutch for Warp Films. The film was financed by STUDIOCANAL, the BFI, BBC Films and Screen Yorkshire. The soundtrack is currently available via Island Records. Idris Elba commented.

"I'm very happy that this movie is going to get play in the States. 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. My work as an actor both in the UK and US 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!"

Golden Globe and SAG winning Idris Elba captivates audiences as an actor, producer and director. He is the first actor to receive dual SAG awards in one evening.  Elba's credits include The Wire, American Gangster, Thor and Marvel's Avengers, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and Beasts of No Nation, for which he earned a SAG and Indie Spirit Award.  Elba can next be seen in the Netflix comedy series Turn Up Charlie, a series he created, produced and starred in.  The critically acclaimed BBC series Luther, for which Elba earned a Golden Globe and SAG award for the title role, will return on BBC America this year. This summer, Elba will star in Universal's Hobbs & Shaw. This announcement comes from Rialto Pictures

B. Alan Orange