Despite years of fans pining for him to don 007’s tuxedo and Walther PPK, Idris Elba seriously doubts he’ll ever play James Bond, playfully suggesting the film’s producers have other plans.
Elba rose to fame playing everyone’s favorite drug dealer, Stringer Bell, in the critically hailed (but little watched) HBO series The Wire. He would go on to star in big budget blockbuster films like Pacific Rim, Star Trek: Beyond, and Prometheus, as well as a recurring role as Heimdall in the Thor movies, which he’ll soon be reprising in Thor: Ragnarok.
The British actor’s good looks and natural charm have long made him a fan favorite to play the first non-white iteration of James Bond, and while current Bond Daniel Craig has indicated his next outing will be his last, it’s highly doubtful Elba will be the next 007. In an interview with Buzzfeed, Elba indicated, with signature grace and humor, that he wasn’t an option the film’s producers were seriously considering.
“I think not…But you really need to ask the producers. Like I can just, [mimes picking up a telephone] ‘Hey, I’m gonna play Bond next! No, it’s Idris. Hello?’ No one wants it.”
While Elba might have solid information suggesting the Bond producers are uninterested, the part where he suggests no one is interested is patently false. Fan campaigns for him to be the next Bond have been happening for virtually the entirety of Craig’s tenure in the role, and those campaigns tend to flair up whenever a new Bond actor is rumored, be it Tom Hardy or Elba’s Thor castmate Tom Hiddleston.
Even if he never becomes Bond, Elba’s career hardly needs the boost. He’s currently promoting The Mountain Between Us, a harrowing love story co-starring Kate Winslet. He’s returning for a fifth (and supposedly final) season of Luthor, the incredibly dark BBC detective show he’s starred in on and off since 2010. He’s also starring opposite Jessica Chastain in Molly’s Game, the directorial debut for The West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin that is an awards season hopeful.
And despite the box office underperformance of The Dark Tower, Elba has indicated he’d be open to revisiting his character, either in another film or the proposed TV series.
Elba is one of the most talented stars working in Hollywood today, and while it was never a sure thing that he’d ever get to play James Bond, it’s hard not to be a little disappointed to know that door is seemingly closed.
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