Fresh off his Golden Globe win for Luther, Idris Elba is busy working on his next TV project: the miniseries Ascension, which “revolves around the history of astronomy and mankind’s impulse for the stars,” as Deadline reports. Elba will play two characters: “the Egyptian polymath Imhotep in 3000 B.C., as well as a brilliant astronomer in the near future.” So he’ll be time traveling in a sense, cutting between eras to demonstrate something ambitious about the human will. Heady stuff. It’ll be written by acclaimed comic book scribe Warren Ellis (Red, Transmetropolitan) and co-produced by Elba Vivek J. Tiwary (The Fifth Beatle).
Ellis has quite the the flair for the sci-fi fantastic, which combined with Elba’s more-than-solid acting chops should make Ascension a must-watch right off the bat. The producers might want to do some creative reworking on Elba’s name, though — Imhotep is the same name as the villain of The Mummy (who was not played by Billy Zane, did you know that?), and there may be some residual brand confusion between the two (even though the Imhotep Elba will be playing was actually a real guy, and not a psychotic mummy priest). Or maybe not, since The Mummy Returns came out over a decade ago and was kind of a silly movie to begin with. Ascension is currently being shopped around British networks, but you can see Elba in this summer’s Prometheus.Idris Elba, Imhotep Elba, Elba Vivek J. Tiwary <BR/>