World famous actor, musician, and writer Idris Elba has signed a global multi-book deal with HarperCollins Children’s Books (HCCB) for a range of titles that are set to launch in 2022.
According to The Bookseller, 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, and inspired by Elba’s daughter.
Following the announcement of what has been described as a ‘major’ UK and US co-publication deal, 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.’
Idris Elba, who recently became a citizen of Sierra Leone, has starred in a number of movies and TV shows during a glittering career that has seen his win quite a few awards along the way. His movie credits include (but aren’t limited to) ‘Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom’ and Netflix’s ‘Beasts of No Nation’.
More recently, Elba made his feature-film directorial debut with ‘Yardie’ at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, underscoring his versatility and ability to also deliver from behind the camera. 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’.
Robyn Charteris, who has signed on to be Elba’s writing partner, has written numerous live-action drama, pre-school and animation programmes for the BBC, Channel 4, the Jim Henson Company and Endemol.
Ann-Janine Murtagh (executive publisher at HCCB UK), who alongside Suzanne Murphy (president and publisher at HCCB US), acquired the global rights for the titles in question from OWN IT! Entertainment Ltd’s Crystal Mahey-Morgan, 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.’
Suzanne Murphy (president and publisher at HCCB US) 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.’