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Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Pick for the Next James Bond: Michael Peña

Now that Daniel Craig is getting ready to depart from the James Bond franchise, there’s as much talk about who will be the next 007 as about the forthcoming feature, “Spectre.”

Chiwetel Ejiofor shared with Variety his selection of a new, non-White James Bond to continue the franchise at the GEANCO Foundation’s Impact Africa fundraiser Monday night in Hollywood.

“I want Michael Peña to be James Bond. That’s what I want,” he said about his “The Martian” co-star.

Recusing himself for the role — even after Variety encouraged the Brit actor that he was smooth enough to do it — Ejiofor tapped his co-star to take his martinis shaken, not stirred. Sorry, “American Gangster” fans, he didn’t choose Idris Elba.

Peña will be added to the long list of contenders suggested to succeed Craig as the traditionally British film icon. On the red carpet, Ejiofor also told Variety that diversity in the entertainment industry is also an issue across the pond.

“I think that there are the same challenges for diversity existing everywhere,” said Ejiofor. “And it’s something that we’re going to struggle with until we figure it out, we haven’t yet, but we’re getting there.”

The most viral comments surrounding the fate of the James Bond franchise have been remarks related to race from both 007 author Anthony Horowitz and former James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan.

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