For a long time now, Idris Elba has been touted as the next James Bond as a welcome revision to the franchise’s tradition of propagating the white male archetype. Known for his performances in modern masterpieces like Beasts of No Nation as well as mainstream projects such as The Office, Elba has successfully established himself as one of the biggest names in the industry.
Elba dodged the rumours for a while but he did express his interest in taking on the iconic role. However, there has been backlash from some groups of fans who insist that James Bond has to be white in order to preserve the legacy of the character. Elba responded to such claims by stating that a black James Bond wouldn’t be the end of the world.
“James Bond is a hugely coveted, iconic, beloved character, that takes audiences on this massive escapism journey,” Elba told Vanity Fair. “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.”
“You just get disheartened,” he added, “When you get people from a generational point of view going, ‘It can’t be.’ And it really turns out to be the colour of my skin. And then if I get it and it didn’t work, or it did work, would it be because of the colour of my skin? That’s a difficult position to put myself into when I don’t need to.”
With Daniel Craig stepping down as Bond, there is already a vacuum created. Many have suggested that the next Bond should be a woman but Craig rejected that idea: “There should simply be better parts for women and actors of colour. Why should a woman play James Bond when there should be a part just as good as James Bond, but for a woman?”.
Elba might just be the next James Bond, especially considering that he has been a long time fan. In a promotional clip of GoldenEye that recently surfaced on Twitter, Elba can be seen voicing his opinions about Pierce Brosnan in the 1995 film after attending one of the first screenings of the film.
Watch the full clip below.