Spectre marks Daniel Craig’s fourth turn as the iconic James Bond, and the actor has certainly accomplished a good deal during his run as 007. After all, Skyfall was the first film in the series to break $1 billion at the worldwide box office, and the fact that director Sam Mendes is returning for Spectre has only exceeded the film’s already-high expectations.
The titular organization – a staple of early Bond adventures – finally makes its long-awaited return to the franchise, with two-time Oscar winner Christoph Waltz as a mysterious villain with ties to Bond’s past. Now Craig has proclaimed that Spectre very much keeps the air of classic Bond alive.
In an interview with Esquire, Craig describes the film as “a celebration of all that’s Bond”, continuing the reintroduction of the franchise’s most famous elements. We’re already expecting echoes of franchise staples, with new cars, Bond girls and memorable henchmen for 007 to encounter along the way. Despite early reports that Spectre would be the first of a two-part story, Craig said indicates that this isn’t the case. In fact, Spectre serves more as a conclusion to the story started in Casino Royale than anything else.
Still, Craig is reportedly contracted for at least one more film as Bond. But when asked about his return in the role, the actor doesn’t quite commit to a definitive response.
“I don’t know. I really don’t know. Honestly. I’m not trying to be coy. At the moment I can’t even conceive it. … At this moment, no. I have a life and I’ve got to get on with it a bit. But we’ll see.”
At this point, it’s very possible that Craig’s contract simply has an option to return, but since no details have been ironed out thus far, there’s no reason for him to confirm that he’ll be back. After all, this is also a smart negotiation tactic, provided that Craig’s contract isn’t locked down.
Regardless, the actor’s days as 007 are clearly numbered, and longtime fans know that rumors have swirled for years that Idris Elba might be in line to take over the role once Craig’s run concludes. The Pacific Rim star even playfully responded to the Bond rumors late last year. However, one person who doesn’t seem too thrilled with the idea of Elba as Bond is writer Anthony Horowitz, who’s penning the upcoming 007 novel Trigger Mortis.
Speaking with The Daily Mail, talk of the Elba rumors came up, and Horowitz declared his stance. Here’s what he had to say:
“Idris Elba is a terrific actor, but I can think of other black actors who would do it better. For me, Idris Elba is a bit too rough to play the part. It’s not a colour issue. I think he is probably a bit too ‘street’ for Bond. Is it a question of being suave? Yeah.”
No doubt longtime defenders of Elba’s potential casting as Bond will take offense to Horowitz’s comments (and many did). To be fair, it doesn’t seem like the author’s opinion is based on a short-sighted vision of how best to reinvent the next version of the character. In fact, he mentions Adrian Lester, star of the BBC series Hustle, as an actor who would be better suited to the role of 007.
Horowitz’s opinion ultimately has little bearing on casting for the next Bond, since the films are owned by Eon Productions. The estate of original Bond author Ian Fleming still controls the book series. Still, Horowitz faced a world of criticism following his statement about Elba and took to Twitter to issue an official apology:
I'm really sorry my comments about Idris Elba have caused offence [full statement attached] pic.twitter.com/UD6ouA45Uv— Anthony Horowitz (@AnthonyHorowitz) September 1, 2015
No matter what Horowitz’s vision of how Bond should be portrayed may be, it’s easy to see why his ill-conceived wording might come across as offensive to some. Still, it makes sense that Elba’s lead role as the dark cop on Luther might be top of mind for the writer. That character’s gritty, self-destructive nature doesn’t exactly gel with the suave superspy 007 is. If that series is really all Horowitz has seen of Elba’s work, it’s conceivable that he isn’t aware of the range that Elba has demonstrated in countless films.
Spectre hits theaters on November 6, 2015.