Idris Elba Addresses James Bond Speculation

Idris Elba James Bond
David M. Benett/Getty

Idris Elba has responded to the rumors that he may be the next James Bond.

Speculation has been high in recent weeks following the release of a hacked email sent in early January by Sony Pictures co-chair Amy Pascal to Elizabeth Cantillon, former exec VP of production for Columbia Pictures, which distributes the Bond films, that read, “Idris should be the next bond.” However, there’s been online chatter for years now suggesting that the British actor should be next 007.

The “Luther” star addressed the topic coyly on Twitter in classic Elba form.

This tweet also comes on the heels of radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh’s controversial comments that James Bond must be “white and Scottish.” Elba would be the first black Bond.

“James Bond is a total concept put together by Ian Fleming. He was white and Scottish. Period. That is who James Bond is, was,” Limbaugh said. “But now (they are) suggesting that the next James Bond should be Idris Elba, a black Briton, rather than a white from Scotland. But that’s not who James Bond is.”

“I know it’s racist to probably point this out,” he also acknowledged.

Elba has tackled the rumor of replacing Daniel Craig as the suave British spy before. He told NPR in 2011 that he’s not interested in so-called black roles.

“I just don’t want to be the black James Bond,” Elba said. “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.”

The upcoming Bond pic “Spectre,” which was hard hit by the Sony hack when its script was stolen, opens in theaters on Nov. 6, 2015.

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  1. Get over it. Elba himself has made it known, flatout he does not want the role. Why? Because he is not an easily led fool who takes a roll due to his skin color. He is one of the greatest actors ever. He knows, and rightly so that the climate of identity over content of character (pun intended) is a scam and anyone educated would. Easily led uneducated sycophants a star does not make.

  2. James Gay Bond says:

    Next Bond should be GAY I think David Furnish would make a good Bond. “My name is Gay Bond, licensed to kill”
    I wonder if Elton could be Money Penny and you have to find some one who he can seduce. Rush Limbaugh would be ecstatic

  3. Jamel Monroe says:

    Bond is not a white character if you read the book it doesn’t say he is white he is just a fictitious character just like James West in the Wild Wild West and Will Smith played him so there you go

  4. Jamel Monroe says:

    I think not to make Idras Elba the next Bond is a huge mistake as he is British and very cool & perfect and he will add some color to what is otherwise a sometimes white pasty boring role you lucked out with Daniel Craig. And if not all people of color should protest the Bond franchise permanently

  5. deparvent says:

    he looks so friendly

    • cdhaskell says:

      Idris Elba should get his own name and not becoming the black version of James Bond. You can’t tell me that James Bond is the only one working for the British secret service agency. You don’t have to worry about the fan talking about all the error that they bring up.Your Truly Charles David Haskell

  6. Stephen says:

    Bond is white. If you want to revitalize the Bond franchise, get better scripts. What’s next, a white John Shaft?

  7. Samantha says:

    What about Joe Lando? I think Joe Lando has grown to be almost perfect for this role. He’s got the rugged-sophistication Bond would need. He would need an English accent, yes, but I’m sure he could learn. I really want to see Joe Lando being considered.

    • cdhaskell says:

      I believe that the James Bond production company run out of Ian Fleming’s novel and now using new original material. They should created another superspy agent along with James Bond to save the world.

  8. David says:

    Wow !! He is so Freaking sexy! And I don’t think that’s a mic wire in his pants either !!!

  9. Dan Car says:

    I think Idris Elba would be a great Bond.
    I am tired of Daniel Craig as James Blonde.
    Sad he only made 1decent Bond film.

  10. cdhaskell says:

    I wish that Idris Elba should get his own British spy movie with his own name and not become the first black James Bond spy. We both know that any new James Bond movie will become from new material and not from the Ian Fleming Estate.

  11. Lorraine says:

    I reckon Idris Elba would be perfect – tall, dark, handsome… What more could we want from James Bond?

  12. William says:

    Rush Limbaugh is a racist dude no matter what way he says it, he knew it was racist and he intends it to be racist. Onto Idris i think he’d be a damn fine James Bond, i love the barrier breaking they’re trying to do with maybe bringing him on and the dude has FANTASTIC acting, backing him 100%.

    • cdhaskell says:

      He play another British agent in the same agency. James Bond have got too many thing in his past and loyal fan who believe that their man is the perfect James Bond. John Luther should be on the big screen.

      • cdhaskell says:

        I don’t blame that Idris Elba don’t wanted to become the first black James Bond. I still wanted his character John Luther to be introduced on the big screen.

  13. cdhaskell says:

    I don’t blame Idris Elba for not wanting to be the first black James Bond. He deserve to become his own secret agent. James Bond isn’t the only agent working for United Kingdom. How about debut his BBC series John Luther on the big screen?

  14. twobells says:

    Scottish!!!!!!?? Bond’s English and has never been Scottish; however, one Bond was PLAYED by a Scot.

    • robertjm says:

      Well, considering his family estate, Skyfall, was located in Scotland, it can certainly be inferred he was Scottish, and the original Bond’s accent (Connery) certainly didn’t do anything to dissuade that.

      But, with that said, the Bond name is originally recorded in financial records of Warwickshire, which is about 90 miles northwest of London.

  15. I was wondering why George Lazenby make only one James Bond film.I got a feeling if the Bond film should be continued that the producer will need to created original screenplay and a novel based on the screenplay. I still believe that Idris Elba should debut in his own spy series. I don’t blame him for not wanted to be known as the first black James Bond.

    • I wanted to thank you for reminding about Barry Nelson who was born in America and was James Bond long before Sean Connery debut as James Bond. Idris Elba should debut as his own spy series and let someone else play James Bond. I don’t remember how many James Bond’s novel that Ian Fleming wrote. The screenwriter will need to created original James Bond’s screenplay and created all new novel for the 21st Century.

  16. What 007 needs are new writers, not Idris Elba.

    • robertjm says:

      That might be the problem as the last Fleming novel to be used was Casino Royale. Skyfall, (and the upcoming Spectre) are original screenplays

  17. Everyone forget that there was a James Bond film that wasn’t a hit where James Bond got married and his wife was killed at the end of the film. I still love Idris Elba in the BBC series Luther series. I got to saved my money to buy the Luther series on DVD. What I am talking about that Mr. Elba don’t need that kind of headache with all the James Bond fans uproar because they still remember their favorite James Bond actor.

    • rocky-o says:

      nobody forgot that one…it was ‘on her majesty’s secret service’ with george lazenby as james bond, and it was one of the better ones in the series…

  18. I don’t blame Idris Elba don’t wanted to become the first black James Bond. He would be long line of actor who play James Bond and most got lucky. Idris Elba should debut in his own film where he don’t need with all the history of past James Bond film. Luther the series prove that he can become a winner.

  19. Idris Elba should be created his own spy movie. James Bond isn’t the only secret agent working for his majority organization. I still wanted the Luther producer to prove Idris Elba and Luther to the big screen.

    • Hey Charles a very interesting point made. Currently Elba is shooting a film Bastille Days based on a young artist and former CIA agent embark on an anti-terrorist mission in France. Maybe this might be the movie to bring him to the big screen once again.

      • I hope that the Bastille Days will become a winner and a sequel movie too. Idris Elba don’t need James Bond film. He would his own man and not another long of famous actor bringing new life to James Bond.

  20. rocky-o says:

    Alicia…i appreciate what you are saying and the way you say it, but…i look at the problem from an authors point of view…the examples you site were merely the way one would think, and hope, the roles should be played…but with bond, he is an established character by an author who wrote him a certain way…just like when anne rice’s novel “interview with a vampire” became a movie…remember the outrage at tom cruise being cast in the role of lestat…a character who was written as tall, thin and blond, and then they give us short, dumpy, and a bad actor to boot…it was terrible…anne rice took her name off the project and refused to give them any more of her ‘lestat’ novels…so i don’t think the focus should be on a race platform, rather just who is right for the way the character is written…

    • Andy G says:

      Author’s point of view? Really? That’s your argument? There is SO LITTLE used from the original books. Moneypenny is now black. M is a woman. Q is a young gay man. James Bond is Blonde, and doesn’t look like Hoagy Carmichael (the inspiration for the novels). The setting is 50 years after the original novel, with all kinds of technological and logistical changes. A black Bond is a relatively small change.

    • Doug says:

      Ann Rice took out a full page ad to apologize for her comments to Cruise and said he embodied Lestat. Might want to try a different analogy.

    • Alicia says:

      Well written and said Rocky,I completely understand and respect your argument. You are absolutely correct that there is a lack of proper casting of book to film characters, and even when producers get it right, such as Rue in the Hunger Games, there is contention from viewers that is racially charged. To touch on your point that authors withdraw support for films that do not closely adhere to source material is understandable, however it is interesting that characters that have been written as being of color, both historically and fictionally, have been filled by “other” with little to no push back. Where is the outrage and talk show hosts calling for source material purity in those cases? It is undeniable that there are individuals that have issues with 007 being played by a black man simply because he is black, it has nothing to do with source material integrity. It is disheartening to see the denial of some posters that this is not about race, I wish they would say that they do not want to see a Bond of a different race, not because of how he is written, but because it’s not a reality they want to see.

  21. Alicia says:

    I am seeing many comments that are asserting that having Elba play 007 would somehow diminish the integrity of the role and movie franchise. Lest we forget that historically in cinema that white actors have played roles that should have been given to actors of color, such as those seen in Cleopatra (Liz Taylor as an Egyptian Queen?), Dracula Untold (White Persian king with a bad tan?) and Exodus of Gods and Kings (An all white cast is grossly historically inaccurate). It’s amazing the silence when white actors play roles that should have been given to actors of color, or worse when it is acknowledge it is justified by the box office power of the actor playing the role. Today’s movie goers are looking for franchises that are more dynamic and representative of what the world is like today, and if it means expanding roles to be more inclusive of actors of color I do not see the issue. This is not reverse racism nor is it cinema affirmative action, it is the evolution of film making and if it makes a closed minded minority of movie goers uncomfortable that’s too bad. It has been stated over and over in this thread that 007 is white and Scottish, when was the last white Scottish Bond seen? Don’t cry foul unless you’re going to examine the entire history of the movie franchise, not just the speculation of an actor playing a role that makes you uncomfortable.

    • historygeek says:

      Just one thing…Cleopatra was Greek, not Egyptian. Her family ruled Egypt after Alexander took over.

    • Hey Alicia you made a very good point. Thanks for bringing your insight into the mix. I was thinking about it my self and your comment answered some of the questions I was searching for.

      I recently wrote an article on my blog titled ‘Should Sony make Idris Elba the next Bond?’. I like how you discussed how a all white cast is is grossly historically inaccurate like in Exodus.
      Mind me asking but do you write blog articles by any chance? I seem very passionate about what you write about and I’d like to read more of your comments etc.

      • Alicia says:

        Hi Ramnik! No I do not blog, however I would enjoy having thought provoking, relevant dialogue with individuals that have a passion for cinema. I’ll take note to read some of your work and hopefully I will see you on the boards. Cheers!

  22. ezekiel says:

    can Spectre be as bad as many say…

  23. Paully says:

    He should be 008 and have him help 007, and be better than JB.

  24. Dave says:

    If he’s not up for playing Bond, (which I have no problem with) surely somebody can come up with an action franchise for him. The man has charisma to spare. Bring on the ‘Luther’ movie!

  25. PETER says:

    Strappe, often Limbaugh is telling the truth. I don’t like the guy, but this time he is right. And it is offensive to Blacks that liberals want Blacks to play white roles or white icons. They don’t need it. As if Blacks don’t have their own legitimate, beautiful image and creations. It’s offensive and totally stupid to argue that Blacks have to be white to have an identity. Blacks are perfectly fine on their own; they don’t have to become James Bond; they can be their own real, beautiful characters and art.

    • Jacques Strappe says:

      How is Limbaugh right? There is no hard and fast rule with fiction. People bitched and moaned when someone other than Sean Connery played Bond. There have been several actors to tackle the role and make it their own, some more successfully than others. Race is unimportant to the Bond character. It’s all about attitude, confidence and suaveness. Limbaugh rarely speaks the truth by the way unless you live in Limbaugh’s fantasy universe. The man is a loathsome self-serving pig that lives to make outrageous and provocative declarations which nets him some serious coin. Honestly, what fantasy world are you living in?

    • Cole says:

      Peter, you are so dead on I am shocked to be reading this here. I agree with everything you wrote, and appreciate how beautifully you made your point.

  26. Jacques Strappe says:

    How about Leroy Bond, James Bond’s unknown half brother? I would love to see him knock off super fat villain Pussy Limbaugh.

  27. Goodbyenoway says:

    Did you see Elba’s latest film? Awful. Terrible performance. He can’t act in a simple dumb thriller.

  28. PETER says:

    Idris is top of the line. He doesn’t need any of this James Bond bullshit. Do your own thing, Idris, and the world is yours!

  29. I don’t blame him for not wanted to be the next James Bond or worst the first the black James Bond. He should debut in his own super spy series movie.

  30. Has anyone thought of giving him a comedy? He’s funny!

  31. James Bond can’t be the only agent that the Secret service got. How about debuting another agent to save Great Britain and the world from Spectre or any criminal mastermind.

  32. Will says:

    Nothing about James Bond’s skin color is why he’s cool. I’m down with Elba. Idris Elba.

  33. Deuce says:

    Why not give new audiences a new James Bond it would great and probably overdue.
    Mr. Rusbo he’s just being contrary to know Rush you must to some of his shows, in a way he may be correct but, for the wrong reasons.
    Elba is such a good Heavy actor with dark brooding potentially lethal acting chops for me he’s slightly typed casted. Although he could be a fantastic 007 with his wonderful accent and strong acting abilities.
    There’s one supreme actor that has a perfect BOND look in every detail. He is younger, stylish, taller and multilingual with acting/action chops.
    He has the refinement carrying a continental flair with global face appeal, I give you the one and only BORIS KODJOE!

  34. PETER says:

    Joel, this isn’t “equal opportunity”, this is AFFIRMATIVE ACTION, which means reverse discrimination!

    • If you read the article Mr. Elba seems to agree with you. He doesn’t want to be Affirmative Action Bond.

      • Henry P Jones Jr says:

        All the actors that ever played James Bond have crafted their interpretation of James Bond. It’shows a very intelligent response by Idres Alba…that if he takes the part or if the movie with him as James Bond will just be a James Bond movie nothing more nothing less which is the highest firm of flattery. He want’s to be given a chance to honor the literary character James Bond. The world should be mature and sofisticated enough to welcome Idres Alba in the challenging role.

      • cdhaskell says:

        I don’t blame Idris Elba for not wanted to become the next James Bond. He should become his own man. I remember that there was talk about a Halle Berry spinoff series. He debuts as a James Bond allies and the next film debut in his own right. The new film should be free from the James Bond continuity backlog. James Bond was the ladies man who beds so many women over the year. I don’t believe that James Bond the ladies men should discover the joy of same sex would work. The gay spy agent like the black guy or female should get their own name instead of using Jame Bond name.

  35. rocky-o says:

    i agree 100% with those who say he should start his own franchise as a new secret agent…doesn’t it seem a little insulting to believe he has to take over the mantel from somebody else who has been written and portrayed as ‘white’ for decades now…elba is a fine actor who should be allowed to make his own mark…

  36. Kezia says:

    Idris could play any part and I’d watch. He’s a darned good actor. Limbaugh is a moron. But then, 99% of the population knows that.

    Can’t wait to see more Luther.

  37. drew says:

    Yet it’s completely fine for Moses and Ramesses II to be played by white actors in Exodus? Limbaugh is an idiot.

  38. Dee says:

    No, just like Sean Connery is really the REAL James Bond the best transition would be for any current James Bond to introduce, say a 008 agent who is 007’s fellow agent. Then move on to see how such a (franchise!) would work. A new ‘008’ agent shouldn’t be distracting, no matter if he is black, latino or asian, as long as he looks good and is a convincing butt kicker…
    :)

  39. robertjm says:

    …“James Bond is a total concept put together by Ian Fleming. He was white and Scottish. Period. That is who James Bond is, was,” Limbaugh said…

    Roger Moore – London, England
    George Lazenby – Goulburn, Australia
    Timothy Dalton – Colwyn Bay, Wales
    Pierce Brosnin – Navin, Ireland
    Daniel Craig – Chester, England

    Once again, Rush Limbaugh demonstrates his grasp on reality!

    • John Shea says:

      Barry Nelson, San Francisco, USA.
      David Niven, London, England.
      Pierce Brosnan, Navan. (Spelling)

      • John Shea says:

        True, Robertjim. The first two ‘Casino Royale’ movies are outliers from the usual UA/MGM canon, as is ‘Never Say Never Again’ despite Sean Connery’s starring.

      • robertjm says:

        I left Nelson and Niven off because they weren’t made by the same organization. In fact Niven’s movie was a bit of a parody on the franchise.

  40. JOEL GOODMAN says:

    EQUAL OPPORTUNITY GONE AMOK.

  41. I don’t blame IdrIs Elba for not wanting to be the next black James Bond. He should become the hottest secret agent man in his own right. There should be a film series should be built around him and not copy the James Bond series.

  42. PETER says:

    I can see Idris playing Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark. Why not? A lot of actors, including women, Judith Anderson, have played Hamlet. It’s Shakespeare. But James Bond? It wouldn’t be Bond anymore. But good luck to Idris and his blossoming career.

    • Jim says:

      12 Years A Slave was the story of an actual person, not a fictional character. The roles don’t compare in that regard.

    • Scott says:

      Why wouldn’t it be Bond anymore? Please explain.

      • PETER says:

        Scott, it is a visual medium. Film is a visual medium. Could Daniel Craig play the black lead in 12 YEARS A SLAVE? Could Will Smith play the red-neck hustler, Brad Pitt role in THELMA AND LOUISE? James Bond is as Ian Fleming wrote and described him, and that’s not Idris. And Idris doesn’t need James Bond. Just like Denzel doesn’t need James Bond. They are their own specialness with their own powerful careers.

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