RIYADH: The British movie star and director Idris Elba plans to make his next movie in Saudi Arabia, as the Kingdom takes steps to create a viable entertainment industry.
“Saudi Arabia gave me an opportunity to make my film here. It made sense on an economical model,” Elba said. “I would definitely be here — why not?”
The London-born star made his name in the gritty US television drama “The Wire” and the British detective series “Luther,” before playing the title role in the biopic “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.”
He has also starred in movies in the “Star Trek” and Marvel “Avengers” franchises, and was named in the 2016 Time 100 list of the Most Influential People in the World. He made his directorial debut this year with “Yardie.”
Elba, 45, was speaking on Thursday at the launch of Saudi Arabia’s $35 billion “Quality of Life” program of cultural, sports and entertainment initiatives.
The event was attended by celebrities including the American actress Katie Holmes and the French footballer Thierry Henry.
“Saudi Arabia has an awesome opportunity to spread its culture through film-making,” Elba said during a speech at the launch.