The Hollywood rumor mill has been swirling with talk that Idris Elba could be taking on the iconic role of James Bond. Elba has spoken candidly about stepping into 007’s shoes, and he recently opened up about his feelings on negative reactions to him possibly being cast.
Elba told Vanity Fair, “James Bond is a hugely coveted, iconic, beloved character, that takes audiences on this massive escapism journey. Of course, if someone said to me ‘Do you want to play James Bond?,’ I’d be like, Yeah! That’s fascinating to me. But it’s not something I’ve expressed, like, Yeah, I wanna be the black James Bond.”
Elba elaborated on dealing with racially based criticism about him playing the part. “You just get disheartened. When you get people from a generational point of view going, ‘It can’t be.’ And it really turns out to be the color of my skin. And then if I get it and it didn’t work, or it did work, would it be because of the color of my skin? That’s a difficult position to put myself into when I don’t need to.”
Elba has no shortage of projects in the works — he’ll star in next year’s big-screen adaptation of the musical “Cats,” and he’ll appear in the upcoming “Suicide Squad” film. Plus, he’s a newlywed! His casting as James Bond has not been confirmed (Daniel Craig will reprise the role in 2020’s “Bond 25”), and it appears Elba has mixed feelings about taking over, if the opportunity ever officially arises.
He told the Daily Mail in March, “Bond is one of the biggest franchises in the world, and for that reason, whoever ends up playing it, lives it. You’re THAT character, and known as that character for many, many years. I’m creating characters now that can still live alongside Idris. Not ones that take over me and solely define me.”