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Idris Elba
Photo by Taylor Jewell/Invision/AP
The name’s Modo. Quasimodo.
BRINGING HUNCH BACK

Idris Elba will star in a Netflix re-telling of the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Hmm

By Adam Epstein

Idris Elba is bringing hunch back.

The British actor best known for roles in The Wire and Luther will direct, produce, and star in a “modern-day re-telling” of Victor Hugo’s 1831 novel, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Elba, a DJ when he’s not acting, will also make original music for the film, which will be released on Netflix.

Made famous by its 1996 Disney animated adaptation, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame tells the sad tale of the hunchback Quasimodo, who falls in love with the gypsy Esmeralda in 15th century Paris. The six-foot three-inch, 45-year-old Elba, fresh off another stint as Heimdall, the all-seeing guardian of Asgard in Avengers: Infinity War, will play Quasimodo.

Elba made his directorial debut with the crime drama, Yardie, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this year to tepid reviews. He’s also developing, and starring in, a comedy series for Netflix about a struggling DJ who becomes a “manny” (male nanny) to his famous friend’s troublemaking daughter.

The internet’s choice (and a betting favorite) to be the next James Bond, Elba appears to be taking on roles that challenge his reputation as a Hollywood heart-throb. Perhaps he’ll figure out a way to be a sexy hunchback in the upcoming Netflix film.

The streaming service is surely just happy to be in the Idris Elba business. Increasingly, Netflix is investing not only in ideas but in stars and creators, giving them ample room to make films and series across different niches. Earlier this week, the company inked Barack and Michelle Obama to a multi-year production deal to make, essentially, whatever they want—so long as it’s on Netflix.