As we recently saw with the Jack Reacher adaptation, Tom Cruise is essentially acting Silly Putty, malleable to any role regardless of its physical requirements. So it stands to reason that the inverse would be true and that virtually anyone could fill in for Cruise when he drops out of something. It worked for Angelina Jolie when she took over Salt, and now it’s working for Idris Elba, who’s just snagged the role set aside for Cruise on Guillermo Del Toro’s Pacific Rim. Elba will join the previously cast Charlies Hunnam and Day as part of the human resistance battling an invasion of giant alien sea creatures, who may think twice about it once they get a look at Elba.
Elba’s casting not only invites a flood of Wire quotes awkwardly adapted to the situation (“Aliens destroying Japan? That’s like a 40-degree day” and so on), it also provides a victory in a long campaign to get the actor a lead role more suited to his talents than Obsessed. Unfortunately, it also likely takes him off the list of another film many hoped to see him in, Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, a role that many are saying is now almost certainly Jamie Foxx’s to lose. But we’ll wait until that’s confirmed to talk about it in a separate story; for now let’s congratulate Idris Elba for officially becoming the new Tom Cruise. It’s official!