Skip to main content

Idris Elba is a genie in Three Thousand Years of Longing

The story of a genie who gives out three wishes is one of the more popular fairy tales in several cultures. However, Three Thousand Years of Longing features a genie like you’ve never seen before. Idris Elba is playing the djinn, and his new master is Alithea Binnie (Tilda Swinton), a scholar who doesn’t really believe in magic or genies.

In the first trailer for Three Thousand Years of Longing, we learn how Alithea acquires the lamp that served as both home and prison for the djinn. It’s also pretty hard for Alithea to argue against the existence of magic when the djinn appears to her as a true giant before taking on a more size-appropriate form. He also has a proposition for Alithea: Three wishes in exchange for his freedom.


Unfortunately for the djinn, Alithea is fully aware that making three wishes is almost always a cautionary tale. To counter her suspicions, the djinn will spin the tales of people who lived thousands of years before Alithea. And perhaps their stories will allow Alithea to write her own chapter and come to realize her heart’s desire.

Tilda Swinton and Idris Elba in Three Thousand Years of Longing.

Alyla Browne co-stars as Young Alithea, with Aamito Lagum as Queen of Sheba, Burcu Gölgedar as Zefir, Matteo Bocelli as Prince Mustafa, Kaan Guldur as Murad IV, Jack Braddy as Ibrahim, Hugo Vella as Young Ibrahim, Pia Thunderbolt as Ezgi, Anna Adams as Sugar Lamp, David Collins as Jocular Storyteller, and Angie Tricker as Narratologist.

George Miller directed the film and co-wrote the script based on The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye by A. S. Byatt with Augusta Gore. United Artists will release Three Thousand Years of Longing in theaters on August 31, and it will likely stream on Prime Video a few months after that.

Editors' Recommendations

Blair Marnell
Blair Marnell has been an entertainment journalist for over 15 years. His bylines have appeared in Wizard Magazine, Geek…
5 great multiverse movies to watch besides Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
Miles Morales falls through a multiverse portal in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.

The concept of the multiverse is a natural fit for sci-fi movie premises, but it's now expanded beyond that. The last few years have made the multiverse plot device more mainstream than ever across a few subgenres. This month alone has two major blockbusters using it as the crux of their stories, from the widely acclaimed Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse to the forthcoming DC reboot The Flash.

Academy Award juggernaut and indie darling Everything Everywhere All at Once is another shining example of the multiverse gimmick done well in movies. Here are six great multiverse movies you need to watch.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse/Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Read more
All the Transformers movies, ranked
Optimus Prime readies to fight in Transformers.

From giant robot fights to ultra-cheesy relationship dynamics, the Transformers franchise has brought spectacle to the big screen for decades now. The franchise, which just welcomed its eighth film, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, has brought in billions at the box office, making it a modern-day action hit that won't fail to be remembered — for better or worse.

Even before action aficionado Michael Bay transformed the Hasbro toys into live-action superheroes, Transformers had been a part of popular culture for years. The franchise's immense success has allowed it to grow considerably past its origins as a giant-robot-versus-giant-robot showdown. Its expansive mythology is set to grow even further in Rise of the Beasts, which will pit the Autobots against Unicron, a villainous planet-eating Transformer.

Read more
The best shows on Netflix in June 2023
Arnold Schwarzenegger in Arnold.

Seasons come and go, but Netflix doesn't believe in slowing down just because summer has arrived. That's one of the reasons why we love the streaming era, because it means that the summer months are no longer a TV wasteland. After the premiere of the fourth and final season of Manifest last week, Netflix has followed that with the last season of Never Have I Ever and the premiere of a new documentary about Arnold Schwarzenegger. And June isn't over yet.

Do you need help keeping up with all of the new Netflix shows? We can you help you with that, because it's our calling to pour over everything coming and going to this streamer so we can give you our weekly roundup of the best shows on Netflix.

Read more