(Note, mild Avengers: Age of Ultron SPOILERS below...)
It's one of the most confounding ideas around to a comic-book fan - that anyone would ever want to leave the Marvel Cinematic Universe after managing to get cast in it in the first place. After all, what could be better than hanging out with a bunch of bad-ass superheroes - or even getting to be one - as part of one of the greatest shared movie universes of all time?
Well, if you ask Idris Elba - the Thor movies' Heimdall - a whole lot, as it turns out.
Idris Elba Doesn't Like Playing Heimdall
Speaking to The Telegraph last month, Elba spoke about the transition from playing Nelson Mandela in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom to returning to the Marvel Universe as Heimdall:
"It was really weird...I’d just done eight months in South Africa. I came to England and the day I came back I had to do reshoots on Thor 2....And in the actual scene my hair was different, my…[exasperated sigh.]...“I was like, ‘This is torture, man. I don’t want to do this.’ My agent said: ‘You have to, it’s part of the deal.’ "
His feelings towards the Marvel movies didn't improve during the reshoots...
“I’m actually falling down from a spaceship, so they had to put me in harness in this green-screen studio. And in between takes I was stuck there, fake hair stuck on to my head with glue, this f------ helmet, while they reset. And I’m thinking: ‘24 hours ago, I was Mandela’. When I walked into the set the extras called me Madiba. I was literally walking in this man’s boots. [Within] six months, the crew, we were all so in love with this film we had made. I was him. I was Mandela, practically...Then there I was, in this stupid harness, with this wig and this sword and these contact lenses. It ripped my heart out."
Which...really makes it seem like Elba has no interest whatsoever in being part of the MCU. Especially as in that same interview, he totally spoiled the fact that he, and Tom Hiddleston's Loki, would be appearing in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Which the Telegraph describe with:
"He’s not meant to talk about this, but he clearly enjoys doing things he’s not meant to do."
And you know what that makes it sound an awful lot like?
Idris Elba Doesn't Want To Be In The MCU Anymore
I mean, take a look at Joss Whedon's response to the news that Elba had spoiled a surprise element of Age of Ultron:
"um, should he receive an email from me, there might be an attitude of scold."
That sounds to me like the response of a man who's well aware of Idris Elba's feelings regarding Marvel, and is trying to not give him the opportunity to loudly and publicly quit.
The question is, though...
Why Would Elba Want to Leave Marvel?
Well, the temptation is to take Elba at face value, and assume that he just wants to make critically acclaimed TV shows and moves like The Wire, Luther and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom - and, of course, to DJ in Ibiza, which he spends much of the year doing.
The only problem? He's always been more than happy to take roles in epic genre movies like Prometheus and Pacific Rim, which would seem to come with many of the same problems that the Thor (and Marvel) movies come with.
So, what's the real reason? Well, perhaps Elba is just fed up of playing a relatively minor character like Heimdall, and wants more opportunities to play the lead, as in Pacific Rim. That would certainly make sense - after all, he's an excellent actor, and more than capable of carrying a movie.
The thing is, though, playing Heimdall doesn't really limit him doing that. What it does do, though, is pretty effectively limit him from featuring in one particular cinematic universe: DC's.
So, I can't help but wonder...
Does Idris Elba Want to Move to the DC Universe?
And, specifically, does he want to play a certain superhero, who's soon set to be recast - John Stewart, a.k.a. Green Lantern (or, at least, one of them)?
It might seem a little out there, if it wasn't for the fact that John Stewart seems a natural choice for the lead character in the upcoming Green Lantern reboot - and the fact that Elba posted the following to Twitter a little over a year ago...
Is it possible, then, that Elba has been tentatively approached to play Green Lantern - but knows that he can't do it (whether realistically or contractually) while still playing Heimdall for Marvel?
It's a little out there - but it seems to me it's not quite as unlikely as it might initially sound. After all - Elba would be perfect as John Stewart...
The big question, though - What do you guys think?
Why does Idris Elba seem to want to leave the MCU?
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