There might be No Time To Die for James Bond, but Idris Elba has hinted he has no time for the super spy at all – after repeatedly dodging speculation he could play the next 007.
The 49-year-old British actor has long been a fan favourite to supersede Daniel Craig as the next Bond – having won fans for playing DCI John Luther in the BBC drama Luther and popping up in big budget franchises including Avengers, Star Trek and the DC Universe.
With No Time To Die finally debuting tonight with a world premiere held in London, many are speculating who will follow in the footsteps of 53-year-old Daniel to take on the iconic role.
Here is everything Idris has said about potentially playing the spy – and the reasons why he is confident he won’t play the part.
Mum’s the word
For over a decade, rumours have soared that Idris will be the next actor to play Bond – following a long line of esteemed talent including Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig.
And although fans are desperate to see Idris slip into the stylish tuxedo next, there is one major fan above all who thinks he is destined to play the part – his mum.
Speaking to Capital XTRA back in April, Idris revealed: “I know the rumours about Bond have always chased me. Listen, my poor mum is like ‘One day you’re going to get it!’ I was like ‘Mum, I’m good, I’ve got Luther!’ I’m definitely doing that.”
Idris has driven fans wild by teasing them about playing Bond when speculation has been rife.
Back in 2018, he fuelled rumours he would play the double Oh agent – by sharing some not-so-cryptic tweets.
The star shared a photo of himself on Twitter along with the caption “my name’s Elba, Idris Elba” – but after sending fans into a frenzy poured cold water on rumours by tweeting: “Don’t believe the HYPE…”
A waiting game
Idris has made it clear he would happily play James Bond, but the person with the power to decide who plays the role – namely film franchise producer Barbara Broccoli – has yet to ask him.
Speaking to Vanity Fair in June 2019, Idris explained: “James Bond is a hugely coveted, iconic, beloved character, that takes audiences on this massive escapism journey.
“Of course, if someone said to me ‘Do you want to play James Bond?,’ I’d be like, Yeah! That’s fascinating to me. But it’s not something I’ve expressed, like, yeah, I wanna be the black James Bond.”
Fear of casting backlash
Heartbreakingly, Idris also explained to Vanity Fair that he thinks there would be a racist backlash against him portraying Bond as so far the character has only ever been played by white men.
Hinting at anxiety about taking on the role if he was offered, he told the magazine: “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 color of my skin.
“And then if I get it and it didn’t work, or it did work, would it be because of the color of my skin? That’s a difficult position to put myself into when I don’t need to.”
No Time For Bond?
While Idris has made it clear he would play Bond if he was offered the chance, he might in fact be too busy to take on the role anyway.
As well as being an A-List actor, Idris also keeps himself incredibly busy as a superstar DJ – popping up with sets all over the globe.
And his BBC project, Luther, is about to be taken to a whole new level – with a film version of the show due to start filming imminently and the actor declaring in April: “The Luther film is definitely coming, I’m very excited.”
While Idris has made it clear he would jump at the chance to play Bond, has has also laughed off the idea he would play the role – despite fans wanting him to.
At the premiere of his own film, Yardie, back in 2018, he was asked by Good Morning Britain if he preferred his drinks “shaken or stirred” to which he laughed: “Stir-fried, actually.”
And asked by a reporter on the show if they were looking at the next Bond, he simply replied: “No”.
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