Actor Idris Elba
Cast member Idris Elba, who portrays Nelson Mandela in the film, arrives for the Royal Premiere of "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" in London December 5, 2013. Reuters/Suzanne Plunkett

The first spin-off film from the “Fast and the Furious” franchise may have cast its villain. Idris Elba has reportedly been selected to play the film in the film titled “Hobbs and Shaw.” The script of their film is ready, and the filming is expected to begin by fall this year.

According to a report by Variety, Elba is in final negotiations to play a villain in the film. The plot will focus on Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) joining forces in order to take on the new villain.

Details about Elba’s character are currently being kept under wraps. More details about the villain, and how he will force an alliance between Hobbs and Shaw may be revealed when the filming begins.

The chemistry between Johnson and Statham’s characters reportedly prompted the producers to consider a film focussed only on these two. A spin-off was on the cards ever since Johnson joined the franchise. His popularity with the fans made the producers think of a movie about Hobbs, and that chance came when Shaw joined the film in the seventh instalment.

Hobbs and Statham have been at odds ever since they came together in the seventh movie, making them the perfect choice for a buddy movie. The two characters, one a former agent of the Diplomatic Security Service and the other a former British military officer turned mercenary, will be forced to work together, which should give plenty of opportunity for comedy as well as action.

Elba has played the role of a villain before. Johnson appears to have confirmed the casting of the villain on Twitter [see below]. The actor said that he’d have to “toughen up” in order to take on the character Elba will play in the film.

“Hobbs and Shaw” will be directed by David Leitch, who is known for directing “Atomic Blonde” and “Deadpool 2.” The film will be released on July 26, 2019 in the US.