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Idris Elba vs. a killer lion as a safari turns deadly in first trailer for horror thriller 'Beast'

Beast will begin to stalk audiences everywhere on Friday, Aug. 19.

By Josh Weiss
Idris Elba as Nathan in Beast

Remember when Liam Neeson fought a pack of hungry wolves in The Grey? Pretty badass, right? Well, Idris Elba considerably ups the whole "man vs. nature" thing in the first primal trailer for Universal Pictures' Beast. If you expect "Circle of Life" to start playing over the soundtrack, then you've come to the wrong place.

Pouncing on theaters in late August, the sharp-toothed horror/thriller stars Elba (The Suicide Squad, Sonic the Hedgehog 2) as Dr. Nate Daniels, a recently-widowed father of two who travels to the South African savannah with his teenage daughters for what is supposed to be a relaxing visit to a game reserve managed by old friend and wildlife biologist, Martin Battles (District 9 and Russian Doll's Sharlto Copley).

All too soon, the hunters become the hunted when a massive, rogue lion that has survived the machinations of greedy poachers starts to stalk and maul unsuspecting humans. He's got a point to prove: our spot at the top of the food chain isn't as certain as we like to think it is. And yes, Mr. Elba does go mano a mano with the killer cat in a battle sequence that promises to outshine Neeson's lupine battle.

Seriously, how is anyone ever going to top Brixton sucker punching one of the most powerful and ferocious hunters on the planet? Nate's children, 18-year-old Meredith and 13-year-old Nora, are played by Iyana Halley (This is Us) and Leah Sava Jeffries (Percy Jackson and the Olympians), respectively. 

Sink your teeth into the trailer below:

Baltasar Kormákur (2 GunsEverest) directed and produced the project, working off a screenplay penned by Ryan Engle (Non-StopRampage). Jaime Primak Sullivan (The Baxters vet also came up with the original story upon which Engle's script is based) and Bernard Bellew (28 Weeks Later) executive produced the film, with Will Packer (Girls Trip) and James Lopez (Night School) credited as producers.

First announced in September of 2020, Beast will begin to stalk audiences everywhere when the movie exclusively opens in theaters Friday, Aug. 19.

It's been a pretty significant week for Elba, whose second summer film — Three Thousand Years of Longing — debuted its initial trailer last week. Helmed and co-written by Mad Max: Fury Road director George Miller, the sprawling fantasy film sees Elba step into the role of a pointy-eared and wish-granting djinn.