Back when it wasn't clear whether or not Daniel Craig would ever return to play James Bond, many names were rumored to be in the running to take over as the super spy. Idris Elba was one of them. Now, we know that Daniel Craig will return at least once more to play James Bond, and the rumor that Idris Elba could take over the role next is back.
The rumor comes via a conversation that apparently recently took place between Bond producer Barbara Broccoli and director Antoine Fuqua where he told her that it was time for James Bond to be played by a black actor, and she agreed that it would happen eventually.
This conversation, reported by the UK's Daily Star, leads the site to claim that Idris Elba is in the running to take over the role. While Antoine Fuqua does specifically tell the Daily Star that Idris Elba could play the role, it's unclear whether or not the actor's name actually came up in the conversation between the two or not. For that reason the idea that Elba is being specifically considered, nevermind is any sort of frontrunner, needs to be considered no more than rumor, and one taken with a significant quantity of salt.
Having said that, if Eon Productions is truly willing to consider non-white actors to play James Bond, there's every reason to believe that Idris Elba would be on that list, and he absolutely should be near the top. He's certainly got the ability to handle the action the role would require and he looks good in a suit.
Of course, Barbara Broccoli saying that James Bond will be black "eventually" doesn't even mean that she believes the next James Bond will be black. She could have been speaking in much more broad terms, believing that some other future producer down the road would make that call.
Even if Idris Elba is at the top of some hypothetical list, a lot could change between now and...whenever such a decision is made. Bond 25, the next film starring Daniel Craig is set for release in November of 2019. While odds are this will be Craig's last turn in the role, the film hasn't been announced as being his last time as Bond. We could very easily get another period of "will he/won't he" with Craig following the release of the new film. If it does well, Eon would almost certainly rather see him return then have to deal with casting somebody new. In short, it could potentially be two or three years from now before they even start looking for a new Bond, and by then the situation in Hollywood could look very different.
Of course, if the studio wanted to heighten anticipation, it could go ahead and announce a new Bond right now. It would likely help the box office of Daniel Craig's last movie if audiences knew it was his last, and it would let the hype for a new Bond start to builds up toward a debut a couple years down the road.
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