Idris Elba's James Bond Chances Are Officially Dead, With Another Fan Favorite Character Filling The Void

Everyone has their favorite long shot in the race to become the face of the James Bond movies and, for a while, Idris Elba has been one of the more popular picks. Tipped as a potential 007 for some time now, the actor sat in a position where the odds weren’t abysmal, but the climate around the role made the prospect very unlikely. Today, that speculation can come to an end, as Elba has officially killed his chances of being James Bond, with fan favorite John Luther filling the void.

During Dubai’s World Government Summit, AP capture remarks that the actor made regarding the persistent buzz around him becoming the cinematic super spy. Tying those remarks to his continued work on the BBC/Netflix original series Luther, here’s how Idris Elba closed one door -- but kept another firmly open:

[Luther’s] very dark. We’ve been working on the television show for about 10 years and so the natural ambition is to take it to the big screen, and so we’re here with the first movie. You know, a lot of people talk about another character that begins with ‘J’ and ends with ‘B,’ but I’m not going to be that guy. I’m going to be John Luther. That’s who I am.

It hasn’t been an easy path to walk, as Idris Elba has been tired of talking Bond for some time now. Years have seen his name always circulating in the pool of hopefuls that could take over in the wake of the Daniel Craig era of 007, with varying degrees of teasing and refutation coming from Elba himself. However, this recent rejection comes with the hopes that his role as John Luther will be continuing for some time into the future.

He's starred as the titular lead in Luther since its 2010 debut, and five seasons of mysteries have kept the titular detective busy enough to jump into the world of movies. Luther: The Fallen Sun is set to make its debut, both in theaters and on streaming, in a couple of weeks; and the leading man already sounds like he’s ready to continue making these event films. Considered one of the best Idris Elba roles from his entire career, this trade-off of fortunes is quite welcomed news leading up to the arrival of this "first movie."

It’s kind of sad to say goodbye to the potential of a run of James Bond flicks not starring the Suicide Squad alum. His humor and his command would have made him a perfect fit for 007 adventures of any tone. While his time in contention for the role is over, it only means that he’s free to pursue any and every offer he receives to do something he loves. 

At the moment, Luther fans have an award winning/marathon inspiring franchise lead seemingly laser-focused on continuing the story he helped start over a decade ago. For Idris Elba, it may not be as new as slipping into a tuxedo to save the world, but it's still a gig that has a lot of action and intrigue to it. While he gets to continue telling that story, another new and potentially untested 007 to take the stage, leaving everyone winning in this scenario.

John Luther’s return will be in limited theatrical release, starting February 24th, so die-hard fans can see that action unfold after checking their local listings. Or if you happen to have a Netflix subscription, you’ll be able to enjoy the film when it makes its streaming debut on March 10th. If you’d like to check out what we know about Luther: The Fallen Sun, then feel free to have a look at all of the clues we’ve gathered so far.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.