Actor Idris Elba is known for bringing powerful roles to life on the silver screen and now the London native will tap into another element of his artistry and use literature as an avenue for storytelling. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Elba has inked a deal with HarperCollins to publish an array of children’s books.
Through the deal, the Concrete Cowboy actor will team up with writer Robyn Charteris for the creation of picture books and fiction novels for youth. Elba says his daughter was a source of inspiration for the books. “I feel privileged to have the opportunity to bring stories inspired by my daughter to life with my incredible partner Robyn Charteris, and the powerhouse team at HarperCollins,” he said in a statement.
The leadership team at HarperCollins is excited to join forces with Elba and believes the creativity that he will bring to the table will advance and shape the landscape of children’s literature. “Idris Elba is one of the most iconic and multi-talented creatives of his generation and I am delighted that he is joining the HarperCollins Children’s Books list,” said Ann-Janine Murtagh, who serves as the Executive Publisher of HCCB UK. “From the outset, Idris had a very clear vision of the characters and stories he has imagined, and is passionate about creating books that will appeal to all children.” The books are slated to hit shelves in 2022.
Elba has been dedicated to empowering youth through a range of projects and initiatives. In 2020 he was the recipient of the BAFTA Special Award for his work with the Mama Youth Project—a nonprofit organization that aligns underserved youth with educational and employment opportunities—and other organizations. The Mama Youth Project and Elba’s production company Green Door Pictures teamed up to create pathways in the entertainment industry for youth from underrepresented groups.