Wait, Is Idris Elba Actually Up To Play James Bond?

Idris Elba in The Take
(Image credit: Anonymous Content)

The future of the James Bond movies is still very much up in the air, no matter what the rumors may say. However, that’s not an invitation to dismiss the word on the street, as there’s a lot of interesting possibilities which continue to make the rounds. The latest 007 intrigue comes from a new report that alleges fans still want to see long-time candidate Idris Elba slip on the tuxedo in the post-Daniel Craig run.

Idris Elba in Luther.

(Image credit: BBC One)

The Study That Supposedly Put Idris Elba Back On The 007 Map

While some think that Elba is too old to start running around on Her Majesty’s secret service, The Sun has been in contact with an unnamed source that reported the contrary. Allegedly there’s been some market research going on behind the scenes, evaluating the prospects of potential James Bond actors. Idris Elba has “ranked highly” in these surveys, with that unnamed source laying out the results as follows: 

Idris has long been in talks to play a role in the next era of James Bond’s story and last year was being considered for a role as an antagonist. However, talks surrounding him playing the lead have started again as producers realised how popular he would be after carrying out secret market research. He ranked highly among the diverse group of movie buffs invited to participate in it. They didn’t want to see him as a nemesis — they want him as the hero.

Once again, it should be noted that even if this secret 00-market research is in the works, it’s about as official as the James Bond betting odds we see cropping up from time to time. However, this study does seem to take into account how Elba was rumored to be a Bond villain. 

The Luthor actor was supposedly in talks for that very prospect, which were flames fanned only further by James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli admitting he was still in the conversation. That said, should this source be accurate, the villain role isn't where Idris Elba's fans want to see him. Which really isn't shocking, considering how long he's been linked as a potential star for the franchise.

Idris Elba in The Suicide Squad and Henry Cavill in The Man From UNCLE, pictured side by side.

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

How Idris Elba Has Previously Been Discussed In The James Bond Franchise

The conversation pertaining to Idris Elba becoming the next James Bond is one that’s been going on for some time now. Throughout the Daniel Craig era of 007, Elba’s name has been consistently bandied about alongside the likes of Henry Cavill, who was one of Casino Royale’s eight potential Bonds. Unfortunately, because of the record breaking run of Craig’s tenure, the 49 year old actor seems to have aged out of the role according to conventional thought.

Anything’s possible at this point, especially with the ending of No Time To Die leaving the fate of James Bond wide open. As we celebrate the 60th anniversary of those cinematic endeavors, anything could be on the horizon; even the oft suggested strategy of casting Idris Elba in a one-shot adventure to keep things going. At this point, it’d be foolish to say never, especially with a report as enticing as this latest rumor on the board. 

Back in the realm of the here and now, there’s plenty of upcoming movies to excite audiences in theaters. Should you be wishing to see Idris Elba on the big screen soon, your wish is his command as he’s recently shown up in the bonkers trailer for Three Thousand Years Of Longing. That film is set to hit the movies on August 31st, so you’ve got some time to prepare yourself. Last, but not least, if you still haven't seen or revisited No Time To Die, that Bond adventure is currently available to stream on Prime Video.

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.