Idris Elba On Possibly Playing James Bond

Published 4 years ago by , Updated February 10th, 2012 at 12:20 pm,

Idris Elba James Bond Idris Elba On Possibly Playing James Bond

Even though the next James Bond film – still tentatively titled Bond 23 - is only now gearing up for production, there has long been speculation about whether or not Daniel Craig – the man currently playing 007 – will return for a fourth turn as the iconic spy, once he’s done with this, his third Bond film.

Aside from the debate over whether or not Craig should keep playing Bond (the man has an equal number of supporters and detractors) there has been one issue of greater contention: Who should play Bond after Craig.

Actors like Michael Fassbender (X-Men: First Class) and Henry Cavill (Man of Steel) have been named by many film fans as prime candidates to take over the mantle of Bond – however, British actor Idris Elba (Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance) has also had his name floated for the role, which is no doubt a matter of controversy, given that Elba is black.

While speaking to NPR recently, Elba addressed the possibility of his playing Bond at some point. Right off the bat, he let it be known that he would not be interested in doing it just for the sake arbitrarily altering the character:

“It’s a rumor…I just don’t want to be the black James Bond. Sean Connery wasn’t the Scottish James Bond, and Daniel Craig wasn’t the blue-eyed James Bond, so if I played him, I don’t want to be called the black James Bond.

Of course that doesn’t mean the actor is against the prospect of playing Bond. Elba went on to detail the Bond-style tactics he would employ for his meeting with Sony execs:

“I’d not only get in the cab…but I’d take the taxi driver out of the car, hostage. The taxi, jump out while it was moving, jump onto a pedal bike that was just past the door as I got on it, and then get onto a plane — on the wing — land on top of Sony Studios, slide through the air conditioning, and land in the office…I’m never shaken or stirred.”

As stated, the mere rumor of a black actor playing James Bond is sure to incite immediate controversy amongst those…”true fans” of Ian Fleming’s dapper spy, who would argue (as usual) that ‘Black does not equal Bond,’ or that switching the character’s race would amount to some form of PC pandering… Because, you know, James Bond is a white male who just so happens to change ethnicity (Scottish? English?) and physical traits (blond or auburn hair, blue or brown eyes) depending on the actor playing him. A black Bond would undoubtedly have as many opponents as he would supporters.

Idris Elba as James Bond Idris Elba On Possibly Playing James Bond

That all said: Elba is a rising star, having already established himself via shows like HBO’s The Wire NBC’s The Office or BBC’s Luther (which is now returning to the airwaves). Elba’s future on the big screen is just as bright, what with upcoming roles in major films like next year’s Ghost Rider 2 and Ridley Scott’s Alien prequel Prometheus, as well as major tentpole projects in 2013, such as Guillermo del Toro’s monster movie epic, Pacific Rim.

Of course, Elba is already familiar with (and likely tired of) the controversy over race-switching in movies: the actor found himself in the middle of a heated cultural debate earlier this year, due to his playing the role of a traditionally white Norse god in the Marvel Studios blockbuster, Thor. Given that experience, we’re willing to bet that Elba (as evidenced by his statements) would be the first to scrutinize the need for a black Bond – something that the Internet trolls may want to keep in mind before posting their comments.

Bond 23 is headed into production at the moment, and is aiming for a November 9, 2012 release date. We’ll keep you posted about Daniel Craig’s future with the franchise.

Source: NPR (via Cinema Blend)

TAGS: James bond
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  1. Is this really the year 2011? Stupid racists still abound; some are just naive to their own racism while others try to cloak it with stupid excuses to try and prove why they’re not racist with their beliefs but their excuses make no sense when analyzed. Ej. trying to create reverse-racism examples.

  2. Michael Fassbender as Bond damn it!

  3. I love Liam Neeson, but at this point he is to old to play Bond. He would be great, but he is up there in age, and assume Craig does another movie not counting Bond 23, then that’s at least 4-6 yes before they even start looking at another actor. Just food for thought.

  4. That would be AWESOME if Idris Elba played James Bond. I really really really hope this happens

  5. Elba would be a great Bond. He is a gifted and talented actor.

  6. He was AWESOME On Thor. AWESOME!!!! My favorite character HANDS DOWN!

  7. I think it would be a brilliant idea. I apologize to Idris in advance, but I would love to see a “black Bond”. In a sense it would be more than just another Bond film -it would be a landmark; the first time a black actor has played the character. I’m white myself but I think it’s time for black people to start stepping up – Obama did it. And for anyone against this idea – I’m sure there’s a spare cage in Guantanamo. Like a previous poster said – this is 2011 not 1967 – if we don’t change our ways now, then we will never be able to survive in peace together. Go for the role Idris! Make your people proud!

  8. Granted there are some who would concentrate on something like race where they didn’t on other atributes from one Bond to the next. Once the film started most just tokk the new bond at face value and enjoyed the ride. If anyone was going to break the color barrier with bond you couldn’t find a much better candidate than Idris. Regardless what part he takes he immeadiately wears the character so you beleive that he is the character. I could see him stepping into a sophisticated English bad ass spy with ease….And would look forward to seeing it.

  9. I cant remember if it was one of the books or games that mentioned a 006 but All I know is that he was a much brutal agent than 007. Idris Elba would be perfect for either character though ,he
    seriouly is the british denzel washington

  10. Hey, if Stan Lee can make Peter Parker black in “The Amazing Spiderman” comic reboot then who cares if Bond is black.

    • 1.) The character’s name isn’t Peter Parker, it is Miles Morales and he is half Latino as well.

      2.) Stan Lee had nothing to do with this new character. he was created by Bendis.

      3.) The title of the comic Morales appears in is “Ultimate Spiderman”, “The Amazing Spider-Man” is a title in the main 616 Universe where Peter Parker is still alive and Spider-Man.

  11. I should be the first black James Bond!!!!At 58,not only am I considered FAR HANDSOMER than Idris Elba,but this black Canadian lad is said to look GREAT in cowboy garb and LAY IT DOWN BETTER OUT OF IT,so I can give the part a sort of Western flavour should it be shot in Canada or the U.S.!!!!

  12. Seems some people are extremely intolerant of those who dont like the idea. What a shame. So tired of the racism thing being tossed around so freely and incorrectly.

    Personally, I dont know if he’s a fit or not. He’s got the charm from what I saw in The Wire. Could be interesting as long as he keeps the character from slipping into something he’s never been (like how Obama does when he gets in front of a black crowd he drops the g’s off most words).

    Yeah, the more I think about it, this guy could do it. It definitely will be different lol, but I’d probably actually go see it. (last bond movie i saw was roger moore’s moonraker)

  13. Just looked up his bio, no wonder the guy has a sophisticated and charming manner about him – he grew up in London. lol figures.

    I hope this gains steam, Im tired of the “same ole same ole”.

  14. I think the best bonds ever are 1. Sean Conery 2. Pierce Brosnan and if Elba gets it 3. Idris Elba thats just my opinion

  15. Oh what an excellent choice!!! He’ll be great!!!

  16. I can hardly wait! So excited!

  17. Three words: ‘effin forget it!!

  18. I wonder if Craig had just dyed his hair if he would have received so much flack.
    Also any actor could portray any character real or fictional because that’s what actors do. They act like said character. The real question is would they be successful enough to have their own franchise.

  19. I don’t mind him playing a Bond like character but does he have to play James Bond? Or does he have to be called James Bond? That does not make sense to me much but if it has to happen it could happen.

    • Yes, he would shave to be called JAMES BOND! Isn’t that the name of the movie?

  20. Sure Bond can be a black that’s progressive. While we’re at it I’m gonna throw Danny Trejo and Jackie Chan out there since we’re all getting some equal representation in the Bond franchise.

    Honestly it’s about time.

    • Danny Trejo and Jackie Chan wouldn’t work, because neither are British or could even pull of a convincing British accent.

      The most important things for a Bond
      He must look could in a suit
      He must look good with a gun
      He must look good or at least believeable in a fight
      And most importantly he must be British

      Now Elba tick all these boxes and the fact that he’s Black shouldn’t be a factor.

      I’d prefer Hardy or Fassbender but Elba would definatley be my third choice.

      • Hardy, Fassbender or Elba are the only great choices at the moment. If they cast either of those thre I would be happy. Craig has hummed and harred about his contract, which was originally just for 3 films, if 23 is a big a critical failiure as QOS, then he wont be coming back. But they need to get some new writers. Using the same people for nearly 15 years, some fresh blood is needed.

  21. Can someone explain to me what all the excitement over Idris Elba is about? I personally don’t know him from anything other than The Wire and Thor, he was in Thor all of 5 minutes, Heimdall was a cool character but He stood out because of the way the other characters interacted with him, Not the way he was portrayed by Elba.(imo)

  22. Its not about him being black the real things is that he’s British and Jackie Chan and Trejo are not from the UK and does not have the accent.

  23. I don’t care about race. Elba is one of the better actors today, and definitely a hundred times better at acting than Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig combined.

  24. I think it’s good to see that almost everyone here has seen how cool this could actually be, I’d happily watch Tom Hardy, Clive Owen (probably too old now at 47) or Michael Fassbender take on the role.

    But Elba is such a great choice, he has everything you need to be a great Bond. And he would be a different Bond, with the physical presence of Craig but the charm of Connery and Brosnan.

    Can’t ask for more than that.

  25. This will never happen. Michael Fassbender will get it

    • Why would it never happen?

      Fassbender would be great in the role I agree, but will the studio go for him? They would certainly gain more publicity if they went with Elba, who has clearly considered the possibilty in depth which suggests to me that someone has already asked him to take the part.

  26. Hey, serious question guys.

    If they announced that the new Bond will be an actor from the UK but his race is Chinese but his nationality is English, so he looks Chinese but he speaks English and with an English accent. Would any of you guys have a problem with this? Particularly those of you arguing that race doesn’t matter when it comes to Elba. But interested in everyone’s opinions.

    • No as long as he have the qualities of James Bond which it seems most people from the UK does

      • Me neither, I could care less what race he was just as long as he personifies BOND.

    • As long as the actor can suitably portray the character, yeah why not? It’s called actingnafter all.

    • You know, it’s quite easy to just say that you’re ok with it when it’s hypothetical. I kind of wish this happens just to hear everyone’s real opinions.. Somehow I’m pretty sure there will be a whole lot more people against that than this…

  27. I actually had heard that Craig already signed on to do 2 more films after this next one. It might just be a rumor, though.

  28. The problem with Idris Elba playing James Bond will be that there might be too many bond girls showing up in the film, that man is too sexy. Lol, but serisously, I’d take Indian Bond as long as he was British and had the suave super spy thing going. You know what, give him his own series! Idris Elba is too damn fine. lol

  29. I think he would be pretty awesome. I really like Craig as Bond… he’s a pretty bad dude, but Elba seems like he would be too. Sure it would be quite a while before that possibility of him actually playing the role would come about… but if he would be up for it, I would totally be down for that.