James Bond Producer Reacts To Idris Elba’s Complicated Feelings About Playing 007

Idris Elba as Bloodsport in The Suicide Squad
(Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

We’re coming up on one full year since No Time to Die concluded the story of Daniel Craig’s James Bond, and 007 fans are still eager to learn what the next era of this franchise holds in store. Naturally the biggest question remains who will be Craig’s successor, and while there’s certainly no shortage of guesses on that front, Idris Elba has said he has no interest in taking over as James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli has now shared her reaction to Elba’s complications about playing 007.

For years, Idris Elba has been frequently brought up as a potential candidate to play James Bond after Daniel Craig’s run was over. While few, if any, would dispute he has the acting chops to pull off the role, Elba simply isn’t interested in tackling the character and rarely talks about Bond anymore. In response to Elba saying that he doesn’t see Bond when he “looks in the mirror” Barbara Broccoli, who produces the Bond franchise with Michael G. Wilson, told Variety that while she and Wilson “love” the Luther star, she understands him not wanting to play the suave spy, saying:

The thing is, it's going to be a couple of years off. And when we cast Bond, it's a 10-, 12-year commitment. So he's probably thinking, 'Do I really want that thing?' Not everybody wants to do that. It was hard enough getting [Daniel Craig to do it].

While Daniel Craig didn’t star in quite as many James Bond movies as predecessors Sean Connery and Roger Moore, he certainly poured many years of his life into the role. Craig was officially cast in Casino Royale in October 2005, and while he obviously did press for No Time to Die in the weeks leading up to its release, the actor essentially said goodbye to Bond once principal photography on that movie wrapped at the end of October 2019. Let’s also not forget there was a period where we didn’t even know if Craig would reprise Bond after 2015’s Spectre, but even if he hadn’t come back, he would have had four Bond movies under his belt, the same amount as Pierce Brosnan.

So yes, getting to play James Bond would be an incredible opportunity for many actors, but Barbara Broccoli made it clear that whoever scores the role will need to stick with the franchise for a long time. Beyond the reasons Idris Elba has outright mentioned in interviews for not wanting to play James Bond, Broccoli surmises the actor’s not interested in committing to such a lengthy run. Besides, it’s not like Elba is lacking in opportunities to star in action movies, as the last several years have seen him appear in blockbusters like Star Trek Beyond, The Dark Tower, Hobbs & Shaw and The Suicide Squad

Back in June, Barbara Broccoli said that filming on the next James Bond movie “is at least two years away,” so it’ll be a while until we learn who takes over as 007. That said, it was rumored in August that a younger actor will likely be cast as the next Bond, and Idris Elba just turned 50, meaning he’d be in his early-mid 60s once that 10-12-year commitment was done. So between his disinterest in the role and this alleged age requirement, it works out that Elba doesn’t want to play Bond, although that doesn’t mean we couldn’t see him pop up in this franchise as a villain or in another role someday.

If you’re in the mood for some James Bond action, many of the franchise’s movies are can be streamed with an Amazon Prime Video subscription. As for Elba, his newest movies, Beast and Three Thousand Years of Longing, are both still playing in theaters, and the Luther movie will premiere to Netflix subscribers at a yet-to-be-announced date.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.