Idris Elba is reportedly back in discussions to play super-spy James Bond. This comes after secret research from film bosses reveals Elba is the critics’ choice for the role.
According to The Sun, an undisclosed source says, “Idris has long been in talks to play a role in the next era of James Bond’s story and last year was considered for a role as an antagonist,”.
Instead of the villain, Elba could play the main 007 role. “Talks surrounding him playing the lead have started again… Producers realised how popular he would be after carrying out secret market research”, the source says. “He ranked highly among the diverse group of movie buffs invited to participate in it.”
This supposed “secret research” suggests that Elba is a definite fan-favourite casting. However, this isn’t the first time Elba has been linked to the main Bond role.
Idris Elba as James Bond
Earlier this year, producer Barbara Broccoli expressed her admiration for Elba. Broccoli called him a “magnificent actor”. She also admitted, “he has been part of the conversation, but it’s always difficult to have a conversation when you have somebody in the seat”.
Elsewhere, Elba has personally expressed his enthusiasm for becoming Bond. Talking to Vanity Fair in 2019, Elba says, “James Bond is a hugely coveted, iconic beloved character that takes the audience on this massive escapism journey.” He continues, “Of course, if someone said to me, ‘Do you want to play James Bond?’, I’d be like, ‘Yeah!’”.
The anonymous source told The Sun that critics “didn’t want to see [Elba] as a nemesis. They want him as the hero.” Now that Daniel Craig has officially vacated the franchise, could Elba become the seventh Bond?
If Elba was to bag the role, he would be the first black actor to take up the 007 mantle. According to Vanity Fair, Elba previously said “it’s not something I’ve expressed… ‘Yeah, I wanna be the black James Bond.'” He elaborated, “You just get disheartened when you get people from a generational point of view going, ‘It can’t be.’ And it really turns out to be the colour of my skin… And then if I get it and it didn’t work, or it did work, would it be because of the colour of my skin? That’s a difficult position to put myself into when I don’t need to.”
Regarding diversity, actor Henry Golding told The Radio Times that “it shouldn’t be a factor at all.” Golding has previously linked to the James Bond role alongside Bridgerton’s Rege-Jean Page and The Witcher’s Henry Cavill.
Right now, it’s only speculation regarding Elba taking over from Craig in the James Bond franchise. That doesn’t mean we can’t get excited though, right?
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Featured Image Credit: BBC/Sony Pictures Releasing