Idris Elba has begun filming his directorial debut Yardie in his hometown of London.

The former Canning Town schoolboy has started principal photography on the feature adaptation of Victor Headley’s novel about drug-dealing gangs in Hackney.

It stars Aml Ameen (The Maze Runner, The Butler) in the lead role of young Jamaican D who arrives in London in the early 1980s and hatches a plan to take over the cocaine market.

When he unexpectedly finds the man who assassinated his brother ten years before his quest for justice explodes into a violent street war.

Idris , who was born in Hackney and raised in East Ham, said: “I am interested in making human stories with characters that are either, full of grace or flawed.

“In Yardie the audience will see a film that hopefully means something to the people.

“I’m honoured to able to shoot it in my home town of London and as a guest in Jamaica.”

The Wire star will also appear in the film as Piper, a Rastafarian trying to eschew violence, who questions D’s methods.

Stephen Graham (Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, This Is England) and Jamaican actress Shantol Jackson will also star.

The book has been adapted for the screen by Brock Norman Brock (Bronson) and Martin Stellman (Babylon, Queen and Country) and will shoot on location in London and Jamaica for seven weeks.

It has been backed by Studiocanal , BFI, BBC Films and Screen Yorkshire.

In early May police were called to Hackney after hundreds of people turned up to an open casting call by Hollywood star and east London hero Idris.

More than a thousand people were said to have queued outside Whitmore Community Centre in Phillipp Street for a chance to be an extra in the film.

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