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"I thought it was Manchester United": Idris Elba has no clue what the MCU stands for

Idris Elba as Heimdall in Thor

We throw around geeky shorthand like it’s nothing. We all love a LARP, get annoyed when people are AFK, and, of course, we can’t get enough of the MCU. But about that last one… it turns out Idris Elba, a bit-part player in five Marvel movies to date, doesn’t have a clue what the MCU stands for. I’m not quite sure how he doesn’t know either, but here we are.

Speaking to Yahoo Movies (opens in new tab), Elba – who played Heimdall from the Marvel early days in Thor (opens in new tab) right through to Thor: Ragnarok (opens in new tab) and Avengers: Infinity War (opens in new tab) – was pressed with an MCU question and wasn’t quite sure what was going on. In fact, he had to clarify what it meant. That sound you can hear is millions of Marvel fans cringing out of their skin.

“What’s MCU?” Elba said, before being told that it stood for Marvel Cinematic Universe. “Oh right, I have never heard that before! I thought it was Manchester United… but don’t worry about it.”

Far be it from me to suggest that Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige should have swooped in with a chalkboard so Idris Elba could have written ‘MCU is the Marvel Cinematic Universe’ over and over again, it is pretty hilarious for the actor to have (presumably) heard the acronym MCU for nearly a decade and just thought everyone was talking about a football team. FFS, Idris!

It might be a good idea for someone to tell him what 007 means, lest he becomes the new James Bond (opens in new tab). At least Idris Elba isn’t blissfully unaware about the MCU anymore – and kudos to him for learning new things, bless him.

Here's a taste of MCU 101, Idris (and anyone else who wants to revel in all things Marvel): the best Marvel movies (opens in new tab) and all of the new Marvel movies (opens in new tab) coming our way up 'til 2020.

I'm the Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.