Actor and director Idris Elba has signed a global multi-book deal with HarperCollins Children’s Books (HCCB) for a range of titles, set to launch in 2022.
The deal will include picture books and fiction featuring a character and world imagined and developed by the star and his writing partner Robyn Charteris, who has written numerous live-action drama, pre-school and animation programmes for the BBC, Channel 4, the Jim Henson Company and Endemol. No titles or plot details have been released yet but Elba revealed the tales were inspired by his daughter.
In a “major” UK and US co-publication deal, world rights were acquired by Ann-Janine Murtagh, executive publisher at HCCB UK, and Suzanne Murphy, president and publisher at HCCB US, from Crystal Mahey-Morgan at OWN IT! Entertainment Ltd.
Elba said: “I feel privileged to have the opportunity to bring stories inspired by my daughter to life with my incredible partner Robyn Charteris, and the powerhouse team at HarperCollins.”
The Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guilds Awards winner has appeared in a string of TV series and films during his career, from playing Stringer Bell in critically lauded series “The Wire” to the lead character in BBC hit “Luther”. His movie credits include appearances in “American Gangster”, “Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom” and “Beasts of No Nation”.
Recently he has also been a force behind the camera, making his feature-film directorial debut at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival with “Yardie”. In 2013, he founded his production company, Green Door Pictures, to champion diversity of thought. With Green Door, he released the documentary “Mandela, My Dad and Me”, produced the TV mini-series “Guerrilla” for Showtime and created, produced and appears in the Sky comedy series “In the Long Run”.
Murtagh commented: “Idris Elba is one of the most iconic and multi-talented creatives of his generation and I am delighted that he is joining the HarperCollins Children’s Books list. From the outset, Idris had a very clear vision of the characters and stories he has imagined, and is passionate about creating books that will appeal to all children. Robyn Charteris has a fantastic track record in writing for children, working with some of the biggest producers of children’s entertainment, and I am hugely excited to also welcome her to the world of children’s books. I feel privileged that Idris has entrusted us to bring his stories to life and I cannot wait to share them with children across the globe.”
Murphy added: “Idris Elba is a creative force, who has many wonderful stories to tell. We are honoured to be working with him and with Robyn Charteris to bring Idris’ rich and imaginative storytelling to the world of children’s books, and we are thrilled to welcome them to the HarperCollins family.”