The Wire star and early bookmakers favourite Idris Elba has completely ruled himself out of becoming the next James Bond.
Speaking at the World Government Summit in Dubai, the British actor addressed the persistent rumours, but quickly dismissed the speculation and revealed that he has no interest in being the famed British spy.
Instead, Elba is focusing on his upcoming film, Luther: The Fallen Sun, which is set to be released in select cinemas on February 24.
When asked about his new movie, Elba alluded to the rumours of him being Bond, “We’ve been working on the television show for about 10 years and so the natural ambition is to take it to the big screen, and so we’re here with the first movie.’
‘You know, a lot of people talk about another character that begins with J and ends with B, but I’m not going to be that guy. I’m going to be John Luther. That’s who I am.”
His new film serves as a follow-up to the popular British television series, Luther, which aired from 2010 to 2019.
In the upcoming movie, Elba reprises his role as DCI John Luther, who was last seen being sent to prison in the dramatic BBC series finale.
The film’s teaser shows Luther fighting with fellow prisoners, breaking out, and then being called upon to help a woman seeking revenge for something done to her son. As the film progresses, Luther faces off against a villain who taunts him with his knowledge of Luther’s character.
As for the James Bond rumours, it’s the second time Elba has dismissed himself, after saying he’s turned down the opportunity to play the iconic spy after years of discussions with movie bosses.
“It is not a goal for my career. I don’t think that playing Bond will satisfy some of my personal goals. It will definitely satisfy the will of a nation,” said Elba at the time.
“I’m not gonna lie, every corner of the world I go, and I’m talking about different cultures, they always go ‘Bond.’ And I feel it is beyond me at this junction. It’s beyond me. It’s not a question of, should I, do I, will I. It is what the will of the nation dictates sometimes.”
Who Will be the next James Bond?
So, with Idris Elba out of the running, who will be the chosen one? Elba had slipped down the bookmakers pecking order anyway, so it would have been quite a shock to see him take on the role.
Other fan favourite Tom Hardy was an early frontrunner. He was recently polled by the British public as their preferred choice, but it seems like the Peaky Blinders star is a distant favourite among the bookmakers.
Henry Cavill is one of the favourites now. The Superman star has been released and won’t be making anymore Superman films, freeing up some time for the British actor. Cavill has all the right elements, and at 39, he’s probably just about within the ideal age range.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson is another name heavily linked with the role. At 32, Johnson fits perfectly within the age range, and he reportedly impressed with a screen test, and had an informal meeting with Barbara Broccoli to discuss the idea of him picking up the tuxedo.
James Norton is another name heavily linked with becoming the next James Bond. The 37-year-old actor was born in London and has impressed with his recent performance as Tommy Lee Royce in the television show Happy Valley.
Producers in No Rush to Appoint Next Bond
With fans oiling the rumour mill on a daily basis, it appears like the producers are in no rush to appoint the next James Bond.
A couple of months back, Barbara Broccoli, confirmed that the production of the forthcoming Bond movie is at least two years away, and the crew is currently assessing the next moves.
Although no one has been shortlisted for the role of Bond, the following film will signify ‘a reinvention of Bond,’ according to Barbara Broccoli.
“We’re working out where to go with him, we’re talking that through,” said Broccoli. “We’re reinventing who he is and that takes time. There isn’t a script and we can’t come up with one until we decide how we’re going to approach the next film. I’d say that filming is at least two years away.”