Full spoilers follow for Extraction 2 on Netflix. You have been warned.
Speaking exclusively to TechRadar ahead of the action film's release – it's out on Netflix as of today (June 16) – Sam Hargrave revealed that Marvel was key to getting the actor on board for Extraction's sequel.
This is your final spoiler warning for Extraction 2. Do not read on unless you've watched the whole film.
Revealed 20 minutes into Extraction 2, none other than Idris Elba (Thor: Ragnarok, Luther) makes a surprise appearance as a mysterious individual called Alcott. Unexpectedly turning up at Tyler Rake's (Chris Hemsworth) Austrian Alps-based retirement hut, Alcott is the agent who makes a tantalizing offer to Rake, one that might help the latter get some closure and/or redemption for his tragedy-laced past. Alcott also appears at the end of the film, which is set to be among the most popular new Netflix movies as he seemingly convinces Rake and fellow black market mercenary Nik Khan (Golfshifteh Farahani) to work for the secret organization Alcott is employed by.
So, how did Elba end up making two scene-stealing cameos in the second Extraction flick? It was all down to the friendship Hemsworth and Elba built during their time working on a number of Marvel movies, including the first three Thor movies and Avengers: Infinity War.
"We knew we wanted to introduce a character who would set up a whole new emotional arc and challenge for Rake [in future films]," Hargrave said. "And the Idris Elba part of that was all down to Chris. He knew Idris from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so Chris reached out and made the call. When Idris said yes, we were all ecstatic. We're honored to have his presence in our movie."
In a movie that's all action and serious drama – read our Extraction 2 review to find out what we thought of it – the addition of Elba's Alcott adds a a couple of more light-hearted, humorous moments to proceedings. And, with the final scene setting up the potential for a third Extraction film – one that may allow Alcott to play a bigger role – and/or spin-offs, there's plenty of potentially buddy cop-style material to mine between the stony-faced Rake and Alcott's carefree persona.
Can we expect to see the duo, as well as Nik, team up for their own mission in Extraction 3, then? Hargrave wasn't at liberty to say, but he did tease the possibility of such a scenario forming a large part of a third film. Well, as long as audiences respond well to Extraction 2 and Netflix sees fit to greenlight a sequel.
"I would love to see a team-up between them," Hargrave added. "It's definitely teased at the end of the movie to, you know, whet audiences' appetite, so there might be more to that [relationship].
"Those discussions came about when we were speaking about how we wanted Extraction 2 to end, and where we'd like to take the franchise next. But our main concern was wrapping up this chapter of Rake's life, and to make sure that we went deeper and further into the emotional side of his character arc.
"I also think there's great potential for spin-offs. It's been discussed, and there are a lot of characters in these movies whose stories could be told. I think that would be an amazing extension of this universe. As for Rake and company, we'll have to wait and see. I know there's a third film that's been tentatively discussed by Netflix and AGBO [Joe and Anthony Russo's production company], but what that is exactly, I don't know. I'm not privy to those details."
In addition to discussing Elba's surprise appearance, Hargrave also exclusively told TechRadar that Extraction 2's hugely ambitious one-shot action sequence took four grueling months to film. Then, be sure to read our in-depth, exclusive chat with Hargrave on how the whole one-shot sequence was brought to life.
For more on all things Netflix and Marvel, be sure to read our best Netflix movies guide, our Marvel Phase 5 hub, and get the lowdown on how to watch the Marvel movies in order. Additionally, if you're thinking about opening a Netflix account, read our article on how to sign up to Netflix.
Get daily insight, inspiration and deals in your inbox
Get the hottest deals available in your inbox plus news, reviews, opinion, analysis and more from the TechRadar team.
As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.
An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.
Away from work, Tom can be found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, reading the many unread books on his shelf, staying fit at the gym, and petting every dog he comes across.
Got a scoop, interesting story, or an intriguing angle on the latest news in entertainment? Feel free to drop him a line.