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.”
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.
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.
Daniel Johnson blogs at Screen Rant.