Idris Elba: the 007 debate that’s not going away

Idris Elba

Idris Elba

The debate whether black actor Idris Elba should be the next James Bond isn’t going away, even though there’s no official vacancy for the role.

One of the latest examinations of the topic occurred Friday on Friday during NPR’s Morning Edition program. The story included comments from  Bill Desowitz and Bruce Scivally, who’ve written books about 007 films.

Earlier, a controversy erupted over comments by Anthony Horowitz, author of the new Bond continuation novel Trigger Mortis.

Horowitz told the U.K. Daily Mail in a story POSTED AUG. 29 that Elba was “too street” to play Bond.  Here’s the key excerpt from the story:

Neither is Horowitz impressed with the favourite to take over from Daniel Craig.

‘Idris Elba is a terrific actor, but I can think of other black actors who would do it better.’

He names Adrian Lester, star of Hustle.

‘For me, Idris Elba is a bit too rough to play the part. It’s not a colour issue. I think he is probably a bit too “street” for Bond. Is it a question of being suave? Yeah.’

After the story ran, Horowitz took to Twitter on Sept. 1.

Horowitz’s novel was commissioned by Ian Fleming Publications, which has no ties to the Bond films, which are produced by Eon Productions.

Many fans of the original Ian Fleming novels say there shouldn’t be a debate at all. They say Fleming described him as half-Scot, half-Swiss.

More casual fans who like the idea of an Elba Bond say the actor, who turns 43 on Sept. 6, is suave, good looking and could do the role justice.

Earlier this year, while the new 007 film SPECTRE was in production, Michael G. Wilson, co-chief of Eon, said Elba would “make a great Bond.”

At the moment, there isn’t a vacancy for the role. Daniel Craig, 47, has completed SPECTRE, his fourth 007 film, which comes out this fall. But the debate doesn’t appear to be going away soon.

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5 Responses

  1. There have been plenty of speculations about Iris Elba becoming the next James Bond. But it is unfortunate that Horowitz had allowed his prejudices to seep into this latest spate of speculations.

  2. We all have prejudices of a kind about who we think might make the best Bond. But racism is another matter, which I don’t think is obvious from Horowitz’ comments. He just doesn’t think Elba can play “suave,” which, ironically, I think, is what Fleming himself thought early-on about Connery before later changing his mind, of course.

  3. Can’t anything stay traditional? This charactor was written the way it was witten. I am a very big fan of the whole James Bond thing. Daniel Craig has done so much for the series. Why does PC always have a say…wow, look what PC has done for The USA. Can’t anything just be a cultures own? Why are we not looking at a chinese, spanish, indian actor…seem one side everytime. I like being proud of my heritage not think down on it as PC wants it. I feel if this role goes with another nationality its lost. …at which point …I am no longer a fan and will no care to follow or watch James Bond. My name is Paul and I am not apologizing. Ps…. Could anyone give me Diana Riggs and Daniel Craigs email or contact info…

  4. […] question was raised when the new James Bond movie was supposed to get Idris Elba to play James Bond. It raised a big controversial discussion with people saying that James Bond couldn’t be […]

  5. Idris would be great, in a remake of Never say Never Again. As the no longer a spring chicken Bond.

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