According to director Antoine Fuqua, James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli says it may be time for a black James Bond. Broccoli told Fuqua it’s time to “bring some diversity to the main role”.
This prompted Idris Elba, a man that many have put forward as the perfect candidate for a first black James Bond, to send fans into a frenzy with the following tweet:
However, the actor, known for his roles on television shows such as The Wire and for film roles including Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, was quick to pour water over the social media fire he himself had started.
Quoting Public Enemy, he advised his followers not to believe the hype.
Elba has made it clear if the role was offered, he would gladly take it.
“It would be such an honour,” he told CNN in 2014. “I mean, what do we have to do here? We have to wear beautiful suits, drive nice cars, chase bad guys and date beautiful women? I dunno, sounds good to me.”
Fans may have to wait a bit longer before we find out if Broccoli’s comments about diversity are just a tease, or if Elba would be their first choice for a black James Bond if they are indeed looking for one.
In 2015, 007 author Anthony Horowitz sparked a social media furor when he said that he felt Elba is “too street” to play Bond, a comment that many felt had racist overtones.
“For me, Idris Elba is a bit too rough to play the part. It’s not a color issue. I think he is probably a bit too ‘street’ for Bond. Is it a question of being suave? Yeah,” he said.
In a subsequent apology, Horowitz took pains to explain that he didn’t mean the comment in a racial way, and that Adrian Lester, also black, would in his opinion be a better choice for Bond.
Not everyone agreed with the possible casting, however: