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Beast: release date, plot, cast, trailer and everything we know

Beast star Idris Elba
Will Idris Elba make it out of this situation alive? (Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Beast sees Idris Elba taking on an entirely new on-screen enemy: a large, ferocious lion who's become incredibly territorial and will stop at nothing to prove he's the one in charge.

Previously we've seen Idris Elba fighting supervillains in The Suicide Squad and Thor where he played the roles of Bloodsport and the Norse god Heimdall, but now he stars as Dr. Nate Samuels, a wildlife biologist taking a trip with his family.

His South African trip is important to him and it also gives him the opportunity to reconnect with an old friend, but as you can imagine, their peaceful safari is soon disrupted when an alpha-male lion makes his presence known.

The movie is set for a summer release and was directed by Icelandic director Baltasar Kormákur who is known for Netflix series Katla as well as films such as Everest and Adrift.

Here's everything you need to know about Beast before it arrives in cinemas...

Beast release date

Beast is set for a global cinema release on August 26 so it's part of a great summer line-up of movies!

Beast plot

The official plot via Universal reads: "Recently widowed Dr. Nate Daniels (Idris Elba)  and his two teenage daughters travel to a South African game reserve managed by Martin Battles (Sharlto Copley), an old family friend and wildlife biologist. 

"However, what begins as a journey of healing soon turns into a fearsome fight for survival when a lion, a survivor of bloodthirsty poachers, begins stalking them."

Beast cast

Idris Elba and Sharlto Copley

Beast mainly follows Idris Elba and Sharlto Copley as they try to keep the Samuels family safe. (Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Beast stars Idris Elba as Nate alongside Iyana Halley and Leah Sava Jeffries who plays his daughters Meredith and Norah. Meanwhile, Sharlto Copley is Martin Battles and Riley Keough plays a character called Savanna.

Other cast includes Melanie Jarnson, Damon Burtley, Robby MacIsaac and Billy Gallagher but we don't have confirmed character names for these yet.

Is there a trailer?

Yes, a terrifying first trailer for Beast has been released and gives us a look at the lion in action, with plenty of tense moments as our characters try to survive out in the wild. 

It starts out nice, with the Samuels arriving and reminiscing about their late wife and mother, but peace is soon disrupted once the lion makes his presence known and we even see Idris Elba trying to take a swing at the king of the jungle! You can watch below...

Lucy Buglass
Lucy Buglass

Lucy joined the WhatToWatch.com team in 2021, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes, reviews and the latest TV news. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.


She is a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema. She especially loves horror, thriller and anything crime-related. Her favourite TV programmes include Inside No 9, American Horror Story, Stranger Things and Black Mirror but she is also partial to a quiz show or a bit of Say Yes to the Dress