Could Idris Elba Become the Seventh James Bond?

Published 3 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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274 Comments - Comments are closed.

  1. Not happening

  2. I’m not sure to be honest, it feels a little out of canon to have a black bond and while none of the films have never been connected they seem to refer back in subtle ways to one another (Bond got a P99 in Tomorrow Never Dies and uses that from then on). But that shouldn’t count Idris out immediately, I’d rather Idris played Bond then a talentless white guy simply because the latter was the only white man auditioning for the role.

    That said I also don’t think Idris should get the role based simply on he’s ethnicity. It’s unfair either way, if he’s a good actor then he could easily get the role.

  3. I would love to see him play Bishop in a x-men film.

    • Me too.

  4. I think you should leave characters as they are created for the most part i mean think if they had someone like naomi Watts play as storm? or daniel craig play as bishop from x-men same thing thats going on with bond?

  5. I think Tom Hardy should be the next bond.

  6. I don’t even know if anyone is going to read this. Once I see an article has close to or over 100 comments I tend to avoid commenting. It’s like what’s the point. But I would like to point out several important things. One is, why is the James Bond name so important, so necessary to keep, that the producers would be willing to cast someone different (i.e., not white) as James Bond. Why the need? What are they trying to prove? It does bring into question the whole point of who James Bond is. We kind of know basically what he’s all about. I don’t need to repeat it. But I think it ends up confusing the brand and just making James Bond just less and less special, when you have more frequent actor changes, and the character gets farther and farther away from his core origins. This is not merely a problem with the film character of course, Bond continues to be a character in contemporary novels. For all intents and purposes, he is supposedly the same person as the Ian Fleming Bond, but obviously he cannot not have aged since 1964, when Fleming died. But yet he persists. I understand that this problem faces all authors of stories involving iconic, popular characters. There is money to be made, and fans to be pleased, by continuing to produce works featuring them. Of course at some point, the length of time gets too long. Other series, most notably Doctor Who, explain that the good Doctor is constantly re-incarnated, hence why his face changes. I suppose that was smart of them to do it that early, to avoid the eventual questions. People have been willing to put aside their disbelief with regard to the changes in who portrays Bond. There is a great deal of excitement and notice. I wonder if perhaps the producers seem to be more eager to get that big splash of “Hey we have a black Bond” as opposed to whether it really makes sense or not. Bond has to compete with Bourne, Mission:Impossible, comic-book movies and the like. Bond movies have also never been absolute box-office kings. They make good money, but not true blockbuster money.
    Also, the last point is about the implications regarding inter-racial sex scenes. It has been frequently pointed out that leading black actors are rarely, if ever, shown having sex scenes with white actresses in mainstream Hollywood-style films. For all the racial progress made in entertainment, it seems just really odd that this is one of the last barriers out there. Casting a black Bond would almost certainly mean that he will have sex scenes with women of all kinds of races. Why is it OK that Pierce Brosnan can have a scene with Halle Berry but not the other way around?

      • It wasn’t blockbuster enough to help the studio stay out of bankruptcy. OK, I know, MGM went bankrupt for many reasons other than the James Bond series. I suppose that point is really not too relevant to the argument. For one thing, I am curious as to why all of this talk now about recasting James Bond when Craig has committed to two more after Skyfall. People seem quick to think ahead.
        I think you misunderstand my point about the importance of the names James Bond 007. It is important, but it’s not just the name, it’s what you think about when you hear the name. People say that, oh, Daniel Craig doesn’t fit the description completely. Well, he’s really more similar to the other Bonds than different. All male, slim, fit, handsome, of British or Commonwealth background.
        I’ll use an analogy. The New York Yankees are the Yankees because they have a certain reputation. Corporate, classy, clean-shaven, buttoned-down, business-like, almost ruthlessly efficient in perennially getting to the playoffs and contending. If the Yankees all of a sudden became like the Indians in Major League, well sure, they’re still the Yankees because they wear the uniform but are they really the New York Yankees, you know?

  7. Honestly, if we’re going with current British stars, I’d rather see Benedict Cumberbatch in the role. He is so good at cold and uncaring in Sherlock, it’s ridiculous.

  8. My tuppence worth:-

    It is racist to suggest that a black actor cannot play James Bond.
    It is not racist to wonder if this is desirable. I would actually like to see a black actor play the part, but only after a suitable hiatus similar to that between Craig taking over from Brosnan, otherwise it is too jarring.
    I should also add that I disagree that Bond is not associated with being white. Of course he is. He is a British cultural institution, described by Fleming as having blue-grey eyes, short black hair with a comma of hair dropping down over the forehead and a scar on his right cheek, of tall and slim build. His background is quintessentially waspish, with a (short) stint at Eton, Navy and Civil Service career.
    People the world over, correctly identify Bond as white, British, charming, handsome, tall,slim and well educated, just as people identify Shaft as black, handsome, American and cool.
    It is completely disingenous to suggest that because Shaft has cultural capital so associated with being black that a white actor could not play him and then with the same breath suggest that the same does not apply to Bond.
    Both characters have strong associations to their respective race and culture.
    The United Kingdom and the United States have changed considerably since the authors of Shaft and Casino Royale wrote their stories. Race is not (or at least should not be) a barrier to success and high office. It is inconceivable that their are no black agents working for British Intelligence just as it is inconceivable that white American men cannot be cool, as though being ‘cool’ was the exclusive preserve of black Americans…ergo a black man can play James Bond and a white man can play Shaft.

    • You had me up until you said a white man can play Shaft.

    • Daniel Craig doesn’t fit the features you suggest and neither did Roger more. I think some characters are embedded in the social-cultural context (Shaft) which would make it difficult to cast a different race, but others, like Bond aren’t.

      • That is cultural imperialist b*******. The idea that somehow black culture is untouchable and sacrosact but we can play about with characters from identifiable white cultural backgrounds.
        The one overriding sameness about all bond actors is that they play handsome, intelligent, white wasps. That’s a fact, despite their various body shapes.

  9. Is it so bad to have heroes of your own ethnicity/heritage? Just because you CAN cast someone of a different race doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do. Spawn was a black male, same as Hancock so what point would there be in casting someone of a different race in either of those roles? What’s next? Will Ferrell playing Ryu in the next Street Fighter film?

    • Yeah, LOL. Didn’t you you moaning, groaning and crying to your mother when east Asian characters are cast as white males. So yes, most likely Will Farrell WILL be playing Ryu.

    • No, next is Ben Kingsley playing Mandarin :P

      • Bazinga!

  10. Bond is an established icon. And to diverge from an establish icon to much is a mistake.

  11. I think Michael Fassbender would make a better Bond that Idris Alba. This is one of those things that just doesnt need to be messed with.

  12. the name “james bond” should’ve been more of a title rather than an actual person, a title that comes with the “007″ title. then the films could’ve been a little more “connected” in a way, if you know what i mean. so when daniel craig’s character is done, he hands off “james bond 007″ to idris elba, or whichever actor is next.

  13. I’m amazed to see so many people against this because he’s black. There are few similarities (physically) between Connery or Brosdon or Craig beyond their skin color. Bond is played by many many actors. Bond is British.
    Elba is a great actor, if you disagree, you haven’t seen enough of his work. It would be refreshing to see him as bond, and he’s someone who could undoubtably pull off a new series after Craig is done.

  14. Jim Carrey as Shaft?

    • Learn to think. The Shaft character is defined by his race. Bond is defined by his mannerisms.

      • That is simply false. As i’ve said above Shaft is as much a product of his culture and race as Bond is. Bond is not defined by his mannerisms. He is defined by his ethnicity and essentially waspish, middle-class British background.
        The fact that there is an issue here is precisely because both characters are closely identified with their nation, race and culture.

        • Again dude you are wrong. Sean Connery was not even British and Roger Moore was blond. So it has to be simply a race thing with you because outside of color Idris fits all your criteria.

          • Well, Connery is Scottish. Since Scotland is part of Britain, than he’s British. Nevertheless, I see no reason why a black man can’t be Bond.

            • Pound for pound, I think that it would make less sense to have a white guy playing Shaft than a black Bond. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t have an issue with a white guy playing Shaft.

  15. Why does James Bond need to be black to be of colour?

    Since James Bond is British, and there are a lot more British Asians than Black people, if they want to be “PC” and make James Bond a minority, make him a representative minority.

    Don’t make him black because people seem to see black people as the only non-whites there are.
    Make him a minority which is the second largest group in the UK, and therefore is more reflective of the population as a whole.

    I don’t have a problem with black people, or with anyone wanting minorities to be X or Y or Z, but I do have a problem with discrimination against OTHER minorities that aren’t black people.
    Everyone seems to see things as Black or White, and they ignore all the other people in the UK who aren’t black OR white.

    Plus, an British Indian James Bond could result in monster money from India because you can almost guarantee he would be stupidly popular.

    • Learn to read. it has NOTHING to do with the actors skin color, it is if he can act the part. This is why Elba is being considered, not because he is black.

  16. I think he is a great actor and would play the part well. Though i doubt most people are going to approve of it. Personally I prefer white males as 007, but I won’t be crying when I see Elba as him. Now maybe if they had picked a different black actor who couldn’t come across as Bond-ish then yeah I’d be a bit confused. Elba is epic.

  17. Whilst being a black person myself, I do kind of subscribe to the notion about having a black bond being too ‘out of canon’ I don’t feel it’s being racist having this viewpoint. I just feel Bond is such an iconic character – even still in these modern times – that for all the changes in actors, he still requires a certain look , bulid, persona.

    I just think the article is more just about novelty – especially due to Naomi Harris’ casting. No one, not even black people have ever asked about the notion of a black Bond – because we always view the character in a certain way.

    Perhaps it would be better to create an original character, a black super spy in the same vein as Bond, but with different personality traits of his own. We already had a black James Bond to a degree with Shaft in the 70s so maybe it’s time for a 21st century alternative.

    I just think that while Craig’s version continues to be ever more gritter, more realistic, filmakes must not forget that Bond has lasted so long is because he remains that ultimate fantasy of a suave, womanising, action hero. Whilst reinventing the character every couple of years is good, they shouldn’t lose that fun and excitement factor that’s made the Bond films last for 50 years.

  18. why not just make him another number, introduce his character with daniel craig as a co op mission… then spin off the series

  19. WOW! So many comments. Ben Kingsley as an oriental. LMAO. There are a plethora of Asian actors out there. Great actors. And yet they chose Ben Kingsley. Go figure. But, back to Bond. Yes, Bond is a white male as described by Ian Fleming who bared a resemblence to the musican Hoagy Carmichael (look it up). The prospect of a Black James Bond is, how shall I say…. ludicrus. Imagine a Black secret agent in Russia or China or Denmark or America in the south driving an Austin Martin. He couldn’t drive two blocks without getting pulled over.

    Let’s be real here. I like Idris Elba, but it just wouldn’t work. Leave James Bond alone. Oh, and by they way, I am a Black male and my favorite James Bond will always be Sean Connery, but Daniel Craig is doing a fantastic job of carrying on the Bond legend.

  20. Daniel Craig isn’t going to leave the role for a good long while. I don’t know why this is even a serious discussion.

  21. Like it or not he would be known as the black James Bond. He should just accept it and own the role. And yes I think he would be incredible.

  22. Will be too old by the time Craig bows out (Daniel Craig has a couple more Bonds in him plus you’ve got to say he is the top 3 all time best Bonds now…not to get a few more Bond out of him). Elba’s not a good enough actor for the role either.

    • He is a better actor with more range than Daniel Craig. I have watched pretty much everything by both actors.

  23. Hell yeah! I don’t wanna wait two more movies to see this happen. I don’t like to think of 007 as a single character but more like a persona that the top British spy takes. Why couldn’t he be a black guy? Idris is a bad ass and will be a bad ass James Bond!

  24. IF a Black Panther movie ever got out of development, I think Idris Elba would make a great T’Challa. Fortunately, a Wesley Snipes version never got off the ground. Maybe Elba could do double duty in the Marvel Universe as Heimdall in Thor and Black Panther in Avengers II.

  25. If are is a problem, we can hope nolans next film is a secret agent movie and he can just cast Elba I’m that. haha

  26. I think Idris Elba should play another “OO” from MI6. That way he would have full reign of building a character. I just don’t think he would be right as Bond.

  27. I honestly wouldn’t bet against Eon auditioning Stringer Bell for Bond, considering they’ve auditioned about every living actor on the planet at one time or another.

    And he wouldn’t be the first black actor to have auditioned either, in 2004 Colin Salmon was screen tested as a possible replacement for Brosnan.

    Bottom line is Eon will do what ever it takes to kept their sole product from becoming obsolete, it’s business that’s all, be it a blonde bond, a black bond, or even a female bond – regardless of how many times Ian Fleming turns in his grave.