Idris Elba Talks About Those Rumors That He’ll Be the Next James Bond

Daniel Craig is giving up the keys to his Aston Martin. The British actor is current filming his last movie as James Bond, which means the rumors are flying about who will be the next actor to take on the role of the super spy. One name has been in the mix for years: Idris Elba. 

The 46-year-old Elba — who was named People’s sexiest man alive in 2018 — seems like a natural choice to play the suave MI6 agent. But not everyone is on board with the idea of Elba taking on the iconic role, the actor revealed in a recent interview with Vanity Fair.

Some think Idris Elba would make the perfect Bond, but not everyone agrees

Idris Elba
Idris Elba | Rosalind O’Connor/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Rumors that the Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw actor might be tapped to be the next Bond date back at least to 2014. That’s when a leaked email revealed that Sony Pictures exec Amy Pascal thought the actor “should be the next Bond.”

Some people were in favor of the casting, arguing that it was time for a black James Bond. But others balked at the idea. Anthony Horowitz, who writes books in the Bond series, said the actor was “too street” to play the character. Right-wing pundit Rush Limbaugh said that Bond was white and a black actor shouldn’t play him. 

Elba says he was “disheartened” by the backlash 

When the rumors that he might be cast as Bond surfaced, Elba appeared open to the idea, while also admitting that the discussion was “all rumor-ville.” Now, he says that though it would hard to turn down Bond, he isn’t fighting for the role either. 

 “James Bond is a hugely coveted, iconic, beloved character, that takes audiences on this massive escapism journey,” he told Vanity Fair. “Of course, if someone said to me ‘Do you want to play James Bond?,’ I’d be like, Yeah! That’s fascinating to me. But it’s not something I’ve expressed, like, Yeah, I wanna be the black James Bond.

The Wire star added that the backlash that came when he was mentioned as a possible Bond was frustrating and that being the first person of color to play the character would be difficult. 

“You just get disheartened,” he told the magazine, “when you get people from a generational point of view going, ‘It can’t be.’ And it really turns out to be the color of my skin. And then if I get it and it didn’t work, or it did work, would it be because of the color of my skin? That’s a difficult position to put myself into when I don’t need to.”

Other candidates for the Bond role 

Elba is far from the only actor who has been mentioned as a possible replacement for Daniel Craig. Danny Boyle — who was once supposed to direct the upcoming Bond film — has said that Twilight’s Robert Pattinson would be perfect. However, the actor recently signed on to play Batman in a new series featuring the superhero character, so chances are he won’t be available for Bond. 

Other candidates include Tom Hardy, Tom Hiddleston, Richard Madden, and Cillian Murphy, according to Esquire.