With Idris Elba leading an impressive all-black cast and Jay-Z among the producers, the premiere of Netflix’s reimagined western “The Harder They Fall” opened the London Film Festival with a bang on Wednesday.
The movie, a directorial debut for Londoner Jeymes Samuel, showcases an array of black talent portraying real-life historical characters from the Old West in a fictional plot, set to a reggae and beats-laden soundtrack.
Samuel, who co-produced and co-wrote the original screenplay, left longtime friend Elba with little choice but to play Rufus Buck, a violent and feared outlaw of the era.
“(It was) ‘you’re doing it’… we grew up together… and here we are making a Western,” Elba joked, as the pair discussed the film at a news conference with other cast and crew ahead of the premiere.
Samuel, also a singer-songwriter and music producer who worked with Jay-Z on tracks for “The Great Gatsby” in 2013, said collaborating again reaffirmed the rap star’s talents go well beyond music.
“The interesting thing is he’s super cine-literate,” the 42-year-old film-maker said.