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July 8, 2024

“I Wouldn’t Want to Be The First Black James Bond”…..

It’s been thirteen long years since the first recorded suggestion that Elba should play 007. Bizarrely, it can be tracked back to an obscure website poll conducted in 2010, which asked users to suggest the best contenders for a black James Bond. By: K Dass.

US - Idris Elba, the charismatic actor known for his roles in Luther and The Wire, has been at the centre of James Bond rumours for over a decade. In November 2008, Daniel Craig, the then-current Bond, publicly stated that he believed it was the right moment for a black James Bond. Inspired by Barack Obama’s election, Craig’s comments sparked discussions about potential successors.

Although Idris Elba wasn’t initially named, commentators began suggesting black actors as potential Bonds. In March 2009, online speculation grew, and Idris Elba’s name emerged as a top contender. In an interview with The Guardian, Elba expressed interest, “Who wouldn’t like to play Bond? Do I think it will happen? No, but I’ve got what it takes.”

He added, “Those that weren’t happy about the idea made the whole thing disgusting and off-putting, because it became about race. It became about nonsense and I got the brunt of it.”

Elba emphasised that he didn’t want to be cast solely because of his race. In April 2010, Elba continued to distance himself from the label of “the black James Bond.” He stated that he’d be honoured to be asked but wanted recognition for his abilities, not just his ethnicity.

Despite the rumours, Elba maintained that he wouldn’t want the role if it was solely about ticking a diversity box. Rumours persisted, and journalists routinely asked Elba about Bond in interviews. He humorously quipped, “I’m probably the most famous Bond actor in the world, and I’ve not even played the role.”

Elba’s age (only five years younger than Craig) made him an unlikely replacement, but the speculation endured. Idris Elba remains a captivating figure in the Bond conversation, even though he hasn’t yet stepped into the iconic tuxedo. 

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