The rumor started a few years ago that Idris Elba was in contention to be the next James Bond. The outrage from racists only made it stronger. Even Roger Moore said “James Bond has to be English.” (He was promptly mocked because as any real fan knows, James Bond is not, in fact, English. James Bond is a Scot).
With Daniel Craig exiting the franchise, the rumors have, of course, come back. The producers aren’t helping by saying Elba hasn’t been ruled out.
So, what are the actual chances of Idris Elba as James Bond?
Just going to say it.
First of all, he’s generally considered to be a little old for the role. He himself has implied he thinks he’s lost his chance. No, 49 isn’t that old, but Bond is generally portrayed as a younger man.
In fact, he would be the oldest actor to take the role. That said, he’s not that much older than Moore was. And Moore played the character until he was 57. Craig is 51. So, unless they decide to do a reboot (which they might), he’s not actually too old.
Another reason why it’s unlikely is that Elba has explicitly said it’s not him. Now, that doesn’t mean he’s said no and sometimes actors say no because they want more money…although for Elba, this isn’t a concern. He can always get work.
And he hasn’t explicitly said he doesn’t want it. If asked, it’s likely he would take the role.
The other reason I think it’s slim is that when there are years of rumors, they never seem to pan out.
Kris Marshall isn’t the next Doctor. Idris Elba isn’t the next Bond.
(That said, I would be absolutely there for Elba’s Bond. He’s got everything we need).
But It Matters Anyway
It matters because it shows that more and more people are there for James Bond not having to be played by a white guy.
Now I would personally prefer it if the Bond character was retired. That way we could have 007 movies and cast literally anyone. As long as they come by their British accent honestly, 007 can be an Asian woman, a Black man. 007 can have Bond boys if we want him to. (No, I don’t mean literal boys, and I wish I didn’t have to say that).
But I would be there for a Black bond.
If Elba is too old, Regé-Jean Page would look awesome in a tux, just saying.
(Also, sorry Henry Cavill, you were too good as Napoleon Solo. I can’t see you as Bond any more).