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

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  1. As long as he acts like James Bond (clean shaved, witty language, etc..) I’ll be fine with it. The only thing is that I’ve been picturing other actors who would be perfect as James Bond, so it is a bit hard for me to accept him right now.

  2. Why wouldnt Daniel Craig just sign on for more and continue his run, hes great, hes not old hes the best bond in a long time.

    • i wouldnt want Idris to play Bond. To much of an adjustment when there are so many other great actors that could take over, and them being caucasian, it wouldnt be to hard of an adjustment when a new guy takes over the 007 mantel. I think the guy playing superman in man of steel, Henry Caville would be a perfect James Bond. Even Ewan McGregor would be a great 007.

      • Agree with Caville but Ewan McGregor? I think any modern Bond would have to be physically built for fighting scenes.

        • He could hit the gym. That’s like saying “person X” can’t play “blah blah” character because he has long hair. He can cut it.

  3. Just do a Luther movie, people will cry too much about the Bond thing and it’s not really necessary.

    • A “Luther” movie sounds pretty good to me.

  4. I think by the time Craig’s contract is over Elba will be too old to start a run as Bond. I’d like so see a younger actor take the role and carry it for a good length without having to worry about age creeping up. Henry Cavill perhaps?

    • Craig is older than [Removed by Moderator].

      • Who you calling a jerk? Idris is 40 right now. By the time his opportunity rolls around he’ll be pushing 50. Not the age you want to be when starting your run in an action franchise.

        • That’s true, no one could be involved in an action film at that age, I can’t think of anyone off the top of my head who is a major action star, in fact a defining action star of this generation, and is in his 60s…

          Oh yeah. Liam Neeson, for a start!

          • An aging action star is certainly bankable. “The Dark Knight Returns” featured an aging Batman, and that’s one of the most famous batman stories. The Expendables also proved old guys can rake in the millions as well as young ones. I think it would be interesting so see an older Bond struggling against his age.

            • Yes, indeed, that would be an interesting take. Neeson was almost cast as Bond in the 90s too.

          • Liam Neeson plays a RETIRED CIA agent and it shows. You think any agency is going to keep 50+ year olds on the field as spies? And the gist of the Taken series is an old father kicking ass for his family. That’s not what Bond is.

            • Ok then make it about Bond coming to the end of his run as 007 and he has to stop one more bad guy before retirement.

        • My fault auto correct idris gets changed to jerk.

    • *idris

  5. It should either be Idris Elba or Michael Fassbender, because they both NEED to be James Bond at least once.

  6. I won’t mind seeing Idris as Bond, ’cause I’m picturing each James Bond played by different actors as their own entity (i.e. 007 – James Bond ARE the codenames). It’s just this bound to cause controversy among fans, much like the ones he got when he’s chosen to play Heimdall in Thor. If the producers don’t mind, why not?

    • ” 007 – James Bond ARE the codenames”

      No they’re not. Why do people have to come up with this theory? It’s simple they just change the actor.

      • I know that, but to me it has always seemed like “James Bond” was a pseudonym that the new oo agent inherits when the previous oo7 is replaced. It just feels that way even though it isn’t.

  7. he would be too old by then, you are looking at another 4 to 5 years before Daniel is done, I he’s in his mid 50′s already.

    • I think he’s in his mid 50′s already

      • idris is 40

      • James Bond needs to look like a MAN, not a brooding twenty-something with a bad boy facade. Idris Elba looks every bit the part of a world weary super spy, and would be perfect as the latest 007.

  8. I wasn’t crazy about black Heimdall but I would be fine with this. I like Elba and if he can play the part well then by all means do so.

  9. Isn’t Craig done after this one?

    • READ the article next time. He is signed on for 2 more after this.

  10. My favorite choice for bond right here.

  11. Yeah Idris Elba could be the next James Bond and pigs could fly tomorrow; I become a billionaire; we’ll see world peace and so on. Come on now, I don’t want to bring race into play here but I don’t think we’ll see a black James Bond for a very very long time if ever. Imagine the backlash the studio will get from fanatics and media a like.

    Remember when Craig was cast as Bond? People called him ugly, short, he’s too blonde and so on. Imagine what kind names they’ll call Elba if he’s cast in the role.

      • Sadly I think you are correct. Which is a real shame.

  12. Im not a racist, but James Bond is white. I dont want to see a white guy playing Shaft either.

    • James Bond’s schtick isn’t that he’s white like Shaft’s is that he’s black, as much as people might characterize Bond as such. He’s just an MI6 British secret agent. That can include any race or creed, per MI6 regulations.

      • I’m gonna copy and paste your comment as a reply to all “Bond is white” comments.

        I seriously wanted to rage at the comment about a “white guy playing Shaft” but your reply is perfect.

        Thank You

    • Shaft is a character deeply connected by his race. Bond isn’t.

      • Why would you say that? I’ve read all the books written on Bond and in his own way, he is a ‘white icon’ in british guise. I love Elba too, but sometimes an actor just isn’t ‘right for the part’. For that matter Craig isn’t either, but he is closer to the ‘recipe’ that makes up Bond than Elba. Bond isn’t generic, but if we keep casting that way At some point he will be distilled into a product that we won’t recognize as Bond. All the best! ~ Stark

  13. cough!…Michael Fassbender…cough! Seriously have they all forgotten. His the perfect “next” James Bond”

    • I’m with you there, man. When I saw Fassbender in “Inglourious Basterds” I thought he was a young Sean Connery.

      • I also think Fastbender would be perfect for Bond. He actually looked a little like the part already when I saw him in X-Men First Class, when his character Erik Lehnsherr(before he became Magneto)was hunting down Nazi Officers who escaped Germany after World War II. I even heard some people say that he looked like James Bond with super powers.

  14. I really hope this happens. His role as Heimdall was one of the characters that captured me the most ever since the first time I saw Thor. I don’t know much about comics, so when I found out a few months later that there was originally backlash just because of his race, I was disgusted.

    But anyway, co-sign what someone above me said, Idris Elba, or Michael Fassbender for Bond!

    • Elba was in Thor for all of 10 min… he didn’t add anything significant to the story.

      • Yet many people agree, that he was one of the best parts in the whole movie. It didn’t matter that he was only in it for 10 minutes, he left an impression on a lot of people.

      • And Sean Connery was in Prince of Thieves for, like, 2 minutes; yet his scene was probably the most remembered scene of the movie.

  15. This is just smoke where there is no fire. Craig is signed on for two more movies. His Contract total is 5 James Bond movies. Yea Elba’s 40 now but after 2 movies go through production he wil be on his way to 50. Fassbender is the proper Bond candidate age for them. But heck they certainly didn’t cast Craig while Brosnan had 2 full production schedules ahead of him.

    • Fassbender is 35, its only a 5 year diffrence with idris, its how you look not your age.

  16. Ian Fleming never wrote about the color of his skin for those who believe in “OMFG, WE CAN’T HAVE HIM BECAUSE OF HIS SKIN COLOR! WHITE BOND, NOT BLACK!”. That is the most retarded thing you can say when it comes down to the source material that freely lets ANY race play James Bond. Not like skin color matters, we’re all human. Elba is a fantastic actor, I’d love to see him do 007

    • If anyone is to be bond after current Bond, Idris should. But I’m afraid there are simply too many ignorant people left still. It just amazes me after thousands of years of evolution people still think there are different races.

  17. This guy is an AMAZING actor, but it would be weird seeing a black man as Bond. Even if he IS as good as this guy. Maybe if Bond fakes his death and did a “Face-Off” thing with a man in a coma (Idris Elba)? The man has connections with terrorists that deal with the IRA, and they are selling a biological weapon which they plan on kick starting WW3 or something.

    Bond undercover? Think of what he would have to do to make people think he is the guy he is pretending to be? Asking him personal questions and through body language he knows the guy is trying to trick him or not (remember Casino Royal when he reads the players?). How about when they ask him to blow up a hospital or something bad guys tend to do? What does Bond do or say? So there is your edge of your seat part, because he might get caught at any time.

    I say, if they want him to be black, then do a face-off type thing. Who knows? Maybe he has to keep the face for a few movies because of the connections the guy has?

    Just my two cents though.

  18. Why in the world would Elba want to be tied down to one role that’s going to consume possibly the next ten to fifteen years of his acting career? A black James Bond would probably drag people into the theaters initially, but after the ‘new’ wears off, we’re back to “Quantum of Solace” type stories that won’t serve anyone well.

    • “we’re back to “Quantum of Solace” type stories that won’t serve anyone well”

      That’s not necessarily the case. The stories could be fantastic and tailored to Elba’s strengths, you can’t say that, because they haven’t been written yet!
      It doesn’t matter that he’s black, sure the media will latch onto it, but it helps that he’s such a great actor, and people will go to cinemas to watch James Bond, not the actor playing him.

  19. Cool Idea,he is an amazing actor …, but this brings to my mind an old discussion about that the name James Bond is actually a code name … This would explain right away the color of his skin …and would open a Pandora’s box for a multitude of questions about previous James Bond character…oh wow…! just saying…!

  20. Henry Cavill!!

  21. If a white guy can play Jesus, Vince Vaughn and Robert Downey played a Latin men, Angelina is about to play cleopatra …………….. What’s the stir about a black man playing a damn fictional character?

  22. So much for America’s post-racial society.

    • Idris could definitely pull it off, but he’d found himself in hell of a s**tstorm during preproduction, filming and opening. Nevertheless, there are number of plausible reboot options for him as new 007. Anyway, I still think it’s just a probing baloon, like in mid-80ies when I laughed out loud reding about possible new candidates after Roger Moore (I remember that one of them was Larry Hangman, J.R. from Dallas soap, other was Mel Gibson, who was cool then, but NOT for the 007).
      Idris has his career going well, and he doesn’t need this s**t.
      But I’d love to write a treatment for his 007-entry if Barbara Broccoli means it:)

  23. As long as they keep the personality that makes james bond, James bond. Then you can make him Asian for all I care. But yea let Daniel Craig keep going there is still too much they can do with him before he becomes a old geyser like the bond before him.

  24. Its alright to have a black Bond girl thought is it????

  25. Dev Patel should do it

  26. They should make an all stars James Bond Movie,like the expendables !
    Bring in all actors who ever had the “007″

    • Best make it quick, our beloved Roger Moore don’t look like he has long left – He has not aged at all well, still a total legend in my opinion.

  27. I would like to see this but its the age thing for me, 2 years between the first 2 movies and 4 between the next (yes i know there were studio issues). So i’m thinking at least 5-6 years till he is done then 3-4 years till they re-boot so near 50 for Elba. Still do able but they would have to up the scale more action etc. like they did in Casino Royale, can he do it would it be believable.

    A black bond would be fine its just in 8-10 years would he be up for it or will there be a better candidate. I think the best bet is to put him in as a villain or rival agent and give him his own movie if he does well.

    • How many prominent black English actors can you name? Prominent as in well known outside of the UK.

  28. Disgraceful. And what of the future Bond Girls? They will have to cast even more black women as Bond girls if you have a black Bond. You can not have a black Bond galavanting around with beautiful white women. Seducing them, even. No, we do not need nor do we want a black Bond and I do not see it happening in the near future. Is it not bad enough that we have black actors ruining fantastic films such as the Avengers which my grandchildren absolutely love. I would have enjoyed that picture had they not cast a black man wearing an eye patch in a leadership role. These film makers insult my intelligence and I will watch no more Bond pictures if they cast a black man. I will not have it.

    [Moderator's note: This comment, while ignorant, doesn't violate our comment rules and will stand but "Beverly" was commenting under several different names in an attempt to start fires. For that reason the commentor has been banned from out forums. Thanks]


    • You are a poor example to not only your children but to everyone. You make the world a worse place!

    • This seems too well written to be real. Not that there are any good points, but it has decent grammar, spelling, etc. I think (hope) this may be poorly executed satire.

    • Wow u r a racist. Do u sleep well at night? quit living in the 1950s. Do u think women shouldn’t have the right to vote either? I don’t care about the skin color of Bond, as long as the character’s personality traits do not change and the movies are entertaining.

    • The intelligence part you mentioned Beverly… its such a varied thing…

      There’s high intelligence…
      Then there’s low intelligence…

      Did you know there was such a thing as low intelligence, Beverly???

    • Dear Beverly,

      It’s 2012 love, you might want to take of your 1950′s blinkers and join us in the present.

      • [Removed by Moderator]

        • Oh dear.

          There was me hoping you were some vile computer generated troll, but now I am disgusted to see you might be a real flesh and blood person. I say person and not human, because you appear to have none of the faculties I associate with being a human being.

          But fear not, your comment will be deleted, and mine will be left to sit here, alone and adrift in a sea of confusion to all who come across it.

          But to answer your question, as I feel oddly compelled to do, I wouldn’t care what race my grandchildren were. As long as they were happy and lived in a world where people like you have become extinct.

        • Beverly,

          I’m multi-racial, and you know what? I’m converting to the book of Mormon from Atheist, move down to Mexico, marry 15 women and have hundreds of multi-racial children just to spite you. :)

          Also, 1920 called. They want their KKK ideology back.

          • That made me chuckle.

            • I almost had to clean off my screen. :-D

    • Beverly, DirkDiggler and various other names you go by – I won’t have you trolling looking to stir things up. Take your comments elsewhere. They are unwanted on Screen Rant.

      Paul Young

      • Dude, I don’t envy your job. You have to read this garbage just to see if everyone is playing by the rules. While she may not have insulted a particular person or used foul language, she did insult my race. I thought we had gotten past this type of mess.

  29. @Vic or Paul: Can one of you please delete that obviously and incredibly racist comment posted by “beverly” (I can’t believe there are still people like this out there in the world).

    Moving on, I was against the idea of Elba being the next Bond a while back, but I’ve been thinking about it long and hard, I’ve also re-watched some of his work and DrSamBeckett’s comments here on Screen Rant have made a lot of sense too… long story short: I think Idris Elba could make a great Bond (t repeat what what ‘SK’ said), as long as he acts like Bond though: he needs to be witty, charming and a shave wouldn’t hurt either.

    Michael Fassbender is still my #1 choice, but he could always do it after Elba’s run anyway…

    • @TheAvenger – Yeah I just read it and while I find it to be incredibly ignorant and an all-around stupid way of thinking it doesn’t actually violate any rules. I’ve edited the comment and relpied with my own.

      I’ll try to keep a better eye on future comments on this post.

      Paul Young – Moderator

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