Could Idris Elba Become the Seventh James Bond?

Published 2 years ago by , Updated February 26th, 2013 at 6:56 am,

idris elba thor 2 avengers  Could Idris Elba Become the Seventh James Bond?

Idris Elba’s star has been rising in Hollywood in recent years thanks to critically acclaimed roles on HBO’s The Wire and the BBC series, Luther. His commercial appeal is growing, too, after being cast in Thor (2011), Ridley Scott’s Prometheus (2012), and Guillermo Del Toro’s upcoming Pacific Rim (2013). The question for Elba now is – what next?

Yesterday, we learned that Sam Mendes has expressed doubts about directing another James Bond film after Skyfall, which sparked a debate in the comments about who should play James Bond after Daniel Craig’s tenure ends (he’s signed on for two more Bond films at the moment). One name that continues to pop up is Idris Elba, and now there’s reason to believe that it’s more than mere speculation.

According to Elba’s co-star in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and the newest “Bond girl,” Naomie Harris – courtesy of The Huffington Post - Elba met with longtime Bond movie producer Barbara Broccoli to discuss the possibility of him becoming the first black James Bond. Check out what Harris said below:

“I didn’t realize that there was this talk and then I did a film with Idris and he said that he met Barbara Broccoli and that it does seem like there is a possibility in the future that there could very well be a black James Bond. And I would have to vote for Idris because I just finished working with him and he’s a great guy.”

Idris Elba and Naomie Harri Could Idris Elba Become the Seventh James Bond?

Idris Elba and Naomie Harris of the upcoming film: ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’

Obviously, race has played a role in the discussion of whether or not Idris Elba might play James Bond, as Bond has been portrayed by a Caucasian actor over the span of 23 films and six decades. However, in October of last year, Elba dismissed skin color as a real argument against his being cast.

“I 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.”

So would Idris Elba make a quality James Bond, Screen Rant readers? He’s the right age, he has the right physical build, he’s English, and his acting talent and onscreen presence in Luther won him a 2012 Golden Globe. In our opinion, playing James Bond would be right in his wheelhouse.

Idris Elba James Bond Could Idris Elba Become the Seventh James Bond?

Still, there’s no telling when precisely the meeting between Idris Elba and Barbara Broccoli took place, as Naomie Harris didn’t specify. It’s entirely possible those talks happened well before the studio committed to Craig for two more films.

Even if Elba doesn’t break the James Bond color barrier, fans will certainly still have plenty to look forward to with Pacific Rim , a third season of Luther, and beyond.


Source: The Huffington Post

Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:

274 Comments - Comments are closed.

  1. Idris would make an incredible Bond. He’s got the onscreen presence and skill to play the role for sure. As for his colour, I don’t think that plays a factor. If he’s the best man for the job then he should get the role. Gerard Butler is the right colour to play Bond and would probably do an ok job but I think Idris would do it better and if those were the choices I wouldn’t want to get Butler over Elba because Elba was the wrong colour.

  2. They should make him the famous 008 we’ve heard of but know nothing about, other than Bond believing he’s better than himself. Also, that he follows orders, not instincts.

    • i think the role of 009 will fit. as M always says that he will pull out 009 if Bond dont make his mission fast. right?

  3. In all the movies I’ve seen Elba in he’s usually a supporting actor, but he does a great job acting I like him he’s a great actor, im all for it I’d like to see him as a lead. (I apologize if he has played the lead in a movie odds are he has I just haven’t seen it)

  4. A black Bond??…surely, you’re kidding!!!! When will Hollywood understand that making casting moves like this is no less offensive than when white actors were once hired to play the roles of Native Americans in early westerns? I will NOT waste my money!!

    • You really should think before speaking.

      There is a very clear difference between Idris Elba possibly being the next Bond versus the cultural foolhardiness of yesteryear: Those white actors were specifically playing a different race/ethnicity. Elba would simply be another incarnation of a profession…a JOB that is not tied to a particular TYPE of man (other than how it’s been portrayed in the past and certainly NOT a limiting factor NOW).

      If you can’t deal with change, you’re most welcome to move into one of those stereotypical Hollywood-esque nursing homes where you can complain constantly about “those young whippersnappers” and wait impatiently and angrily to die.

      Good luck.

      • Well said man, i totally agree, good for you

    • @Landon.

      There is simply no comparison. When white people played “Injuns” in old western films, they usually portrayed them as blood-thirsty heathens – enforcing negative stereotypes and glorifying manifest destiny. I don’t hear anybody boycotting films like Cloud Atlas (whites playing Asians), the Oldboy remake (whites playing Asians), the Avengers (Sam L. Jackson playing a traditionally white role), the Lone Ranger (Depp playing a Native American) or anything like that. Mainly, because these portrayals are respectul or inconsequential, just as Idris Elba in the Bond role would be.

    • Wow. When, in the history of Bond, did they say he’s a white man? WHERE? Because from what i recall, they NEVER specified his skin color. So your argument (which is actually just annoying bull-crap) is completely irrelevant and invalid.

      • From Wikipedia:
        “Looks: Fleming compares Bond’s appearance to Hoagy Carmichael.

        Facially, Bond resembles the composer, singer and actor Hoagy Carmichael. In Casino Royale Vesper Lynd remarks, “Bond reminds me rather of Hoagy Carmichael, but there is something cold and ruthless.” Likewise, in Moonraker, Special Branch Officer Gala Brand thinks that Bond is “certainly good-looking … Rather like Hoagy Carmichael in a way. That black hair falling down over the right eyebrow. Much the same bones. But there was something a bit cruel in the mouth, and the eyes were cold.” Others, such as journalist Ben Macintyre, identify aspects of Fleming’s own looks in his description of Bond. General references in the novels describe Bond as having “dark, rather cruel good looks”.

        In the novels (notably From Russia, with Love), Bond’s physical description has generally been consistent: slim build; a three-inch long, thin vertical scar on his right cheek; blue-grey eyes; a “cruel” mouth; short, black hair, a comma of which falls on his forehead. Physically he is described as 183 centimetres (6 feet) in height and 76 kilograms (167 lb) in weight. After Casino Royale, Bond also had the faint scar of the Russian cyrillic letter “Ш” (SH) (for Shpion: “Spy”) on the back of one of his hands, carved by a SMERSH agent.”

        So you have it, from Ian Fleming’s own words in “From Russia, with Love” (the book, not the movie)…James Bond is a Caucasian.

        • @Danlister –
          All this says is that Bond has black hair, blue-grey eyes, is 6 feet tall, weighs 167 pounds,and has scars .

          NOWHERE does it say he is white. Many black men (and many asians, and Latinos) have these exact same physical characteristics (tall, blue-eyed, dark haired) So, even Fleming’s OWN words don’t mandate a caucasian actor. Try again, or admit your mistake.

          • Hoagland Howard Carmichael AKA Hoagy Carmichael

            Born: 22-Nov-1899
            Birthplace: Bloomington, IN
            Died: 27-Dec-1981
            Location of death: Rancho Mirage, CA [1]
            Cause of death: Heart Failure
            Remains: Buried, Rose Hill Cemetery, Bloomington, IN

            Gender: Male
            Race or Ethnicity: White (<——-See that, Evan? Remember Fleming based him on Hoagy Carmichael? Remember that, in the book Moonraker, Special Branch Officer Gala Brand thinks that Bond is “certainly good-looking … rather like Hoagy Carmichael in a way. That black hair falling down over the right eyebrow. Much the same bones. But there was something a bit cruel in the mouth, and the eyes were cold.”?)

            Right back at ya, Sparky…

            • @Danlister – So people only look like each other if their skin color matches?

              This quote says he looks like Hoagy Carmichael because of his good looks, hair, and bone structure … not because of his skin color. In fact, she even says he looks like him “in a way,” not “he looks exactly like him because they are both white.”

              Regardless, even if Fleming ended every chapter of his books with something like “and James Bond enjoyed his white-skinned reflection in the mirror” – James Bond is a fictional character. He can be whatever the people using the character want him to be. Bond’s skin color has NOTHING to do with who he is as a person. It would be a MUCH bigger problem if they made him non-british.

            • Yeah and Julius Caesar didn’t speak like John Gielgud, Alexander the Great wasn’t Welsh like Richard Burton, Cleopatra wasn’t pale like Elizabeth Taylor, Shakespeare’s Moor wouldn’t have had to paint his face like Laurence Olivier but it’s acting, its Hollywood, and even though there’s plenty of Italians and Greeks and blacks who could have played those roles, they chose English white guy and white girl and we take it. Needless to say, I don’t think Idris Elba playing James Bond would be the worst thing in the world. Having said that, I take it you’ll be out there with me to burn Pinewood Studios to the ground if they allow him to play the role. I can see, through your research and insistence on explaining to Sparky why Elba can’t play Bond, that you are an insecure white man like me, and we need James Bond to stay white to remind us of what we used to be, white, proud, chauvanistic, imperialist, sons of bitches! I’ll have no bloody ice in my tea.

      • “When, in the history of Bond, did they say he’s a white man? WHERE? Because from what i recall, they NEVER specified his skin color.”

        Well, you ASKED….

  5. What in heavens name would Iam Fleming think. He created James Bond and sorry to all the move oners, James Bond was, is and always will be white. If you really want a Black one, write a book and create the character!

    • hmmm Since in movie world they transformed a lot of famous ethnic book and comic characters into white people why would it be such a stretch to do it the other way around.Who knows what Ian Fleming would think? I think he would not like an invisible car either.If there is an appeal for it they could write another origin story or start a different franchise with an alternative bond.There was this cartoon Bond junior.He was the nephew of James Bond (not his son as the name suggests).But it was basically a younger version of James Bond.They could do something like that.Sure it is cheesy,but who cares Elba as Bond would rock.

    • Exactly, if you could dig him up from the grave and breathe life into his bones and ask him how he’d feel about a black man playing the role, he’d probably shoot you. The Fleming’s and Churchills and such of that day would never dream of a black man having such power and freedom. James Bond is the last pillar of the idea of our white supremacy and imperialism, I think the movie industry should let us hold onto it. Pinewood Studios would be burned to the ground if they let Idris Elba play Bond. There’s already an American black president let us keep our fictional spy.

  6. For the next bond I vote either Idris Elba or Michael Fassbender I like them both and they’d both be great choices in my opinion

  7. Idris Elba would make a great, even outstanding, “Alex Cross” James Patterson’s Black DC Dectective. NOT a good fit for James Bond…as a black woman, I have come to appreciate seeing sexy white guys run around with their shirt off. I think the “Magneto” guy from Xmen First Class would do, or better yet John Barrowman…wow, he maybe homosexual in real life, but boy would he make a hot Bond!

    • I am a bloke and heterosexual.And agree with Barrowman.But Idris Elba not fit?The guy is suave and sexy.He would be perfect.

    • Elba would SO embarrass the crap out of Tyler Perry for even ATTEMPTING to play Alex Cross…

  8. Playing such a well known character as James Bond requires a lot of acceptance by the audience. Will he make us believe that he is James Bond? I am a die-hard James bond fan, since Thunderball, and it is not the color of the actor’s skin that makes me jones to see the movies. It is the acting abilities of the actor portraying the icon. If he can act like James Bond then my hat is off to him, no matter his complexion! Now I’m talking ’bout “Shaft” can you dig it, Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan or Daniel Craig as John Shaft? If the script was written for them. Could Idris Elba make us believe he is James Bond, I believe he could, given the right script. Idris Elba is a very talented actor and has the suaveness/body type of Pierce, killer eliteness of Daniel, humor of Roger, coldness of Timothy and accent and charm of Sean. I think he would leave us all shaken and stirred!

  9. Elba himself said that after Craig’s next two Bond films, he will be pushing 50 and too old for the part, hence why it is unlikely that he will go for the role.
    I think it would be interesting to see a black bond, however the public backlash would be enough to scare any producer into not making a change, dare I say it, as drastic as that of skin colour.

  10. James Bond has been a tradition…hence the whole 50 years thing. It would be crude to disrespect Ian Fleming’s character. Yeah, there have been actors with different hair colors and such, but a different skin color changes things…it even changes background of the character. Just saying, if this gets switched, I will no longer support the future of the Bond series. and someone said it would be nice for a black person to get the role for a change and to stick with the times? step off of Bond, you don’t see white people bitching to be the lead role of a Tyler Perry movie. It messes up the cultures. Black people don’t want to see a Tyler Perry movie filled with white people.

    • @Chace – And if you leave the Bond franchise simply because something equally as arbitrary as eye or hair color (i.e. skin color) changes, I will join the majority of Bond fans in wishing you good riddance.

  11. To end all this crap: James Bond is created as a white guy. Ian Fleming, the guy who created 007, stated that Bond was a cross between himself and American composer Hoagy Carmichael, whose picture you can see here.

    You see? White as rice.

    …and if you want to talk about getting the character right, then technically they’ve been wrong since the first film. Fleming’s original creation of Bond didn’t have him as suave as he was depicted in the films. Still, I love what they’ve done with the movies and I don’t think Idris Elba would make a suitable Bond. I could, however, see him as another agent.

  12. Okay, so is the next “Shaft” movie going to star Gerard Butler? I’m sure everyone would be alright with that decision. I’m not saying this is a bad decision because Elba is black, but it’s a bad move because the character is white. Skyfall already made a crack of Bond possibly being bisexual to please the modern crowds, next thing we know, James Bond is going to be a woman.

    • When did “Skyfall” EVER imply any bisexuality with regard to Bond? That was just a silly statement.

    • Re: Bisexual Bond

      Well, it DOES change the concept of Bond always getting his man…


  14. I hope someone picks up on the person’s comment about Idris Elba playing 008. If it’s true that Daniel Craig is signed on to act in two more Bond films, then I think Idris Elba would make a great co-star.

    I don’t remember Felix Leiter being in Skyfall, so maybe 008 could take his spot in a possible sequel as a bit of charming contention for Bond.

  15. Fleming was from a colonial era. How he refers to the locals in Dr. No for example. Pretty sure there were not any lead colored actors /characters, spys, leaders in prominent positions within the British Empire during his time. no fault of is own, just his background. My fav Bonds are Sean Connery and Daniel Craig and I think Idris would be a great Bond. I really hope Mendes does another Bond. I think he really understands it.

  16. I’m a black American woman and Idris Elba is a talented, sexy actor. However, I think the role of Bond should only be played by a White male actor (as long as he’s not an American). That’s what the world is used to, he’s written as a white British man, and the whole series will be destroyed the second he (or any Black actor regardless of nationality or a White American male) was announced as the new James Bond.

  17. Absolutely NOT!! Imagine if a white man played the role of Toby in “Roots.” Would that go down well? That’s what I thought.
    James Bond is WHITE and it shouldn’t be negotiable.

    Disclaimer-Not that it matters, but I’m not Caucasian. I’m sure some of you made the assumption based on my opinion.