Neither "Spider" nor "Girls" were particularly good, the sort of movies almost made for heavy Saturday afternoon rotation on HBO. But franchises centered around black actors are few and far between, so this could be a huge step up for Elba.
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Fans of "The Wire" know Elba best as Stringer Bell, the brains behind Avon Barksdale's East Baltimore cocaine empire. But since the show's demise, Elba's slowly emerged as its breakout star. He's racked up about more than a dozen film roles since 2005, including "28 Weeks Later," "RocknRolla," and the upcoming "Thor."
"Cross" goes into production in the spring of 2011, in the meantime you can next see Elba Aug. 27 in "Takers," as a member of a gang of bank robbers.