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A search for a new 007 is underway, with countless actors rumoured as being the next in line to play the iconic British spy.
“Understand this,” he said during an interview with the BBC last week (May 9). “James Bond has a licence to kill. I would issue that licence to Idris Elba just based on the work that I’ve seen him do.”
Alongside Hanks, other leading Hollywood actors have also shown their support for Elba taking the role. This included former 007 star Pierce Brosnan, who took on the role for four films between 1995 to 2002. Brosnan also tipped Tom Hardy to take the lead in the next outing of the franchise.
Speculation that Elba will fulfil the role continues to thrive — despite the Luther actor publicly denying any serious interest in the role, and quashing rumours that he may be the next in line. “No I’m not going to be James Bond,” he said in 2021, also adding how the possibility of having a black actor play the role is a “sign of the times”.
He addressed the rumours again earlier this year, and said that while it is an “honour” to be suggested for the role, speculation that he may be the next actor in line is “not a truth”.
While the next James Bond lead remains a mystery, last month, casting director Debbie McWilliams did confirm that young actors lack the “mental capacity” to play 007. “We did look at a lot of younger actors, and I just don’t think they had the gravitas,” she said. “They didn’t have the experience, they didn’t have the mental capacity to take it on, because it’s not just the part they’re taking on, it’s a massive responsibility.”
Elsewhere, current Bond author Charlie Higson confirmed that any actors rumoured to be taking on the role of 007 on the big screen have already been rejected by the studio. “As soon as the papers say, ‘So and so is being considered as the next James Bond’, you know that they’re not going to be the next James Bond, you know that they’ve been rejected,” he said.
“[The studio] play their cards very close to the chest. A lot of times they really surprise people. Nobody had any idea at all that [Daniel Craig] might be Bond but then he’s just so good in Casino Royale [that] any doubts you might have had immediately go out the window.”
Following his roles in James Bond films, Casino Royale, Quantum Of Solace, Skyfall, Spectre and No Time To Die, Daniel Craig has also taken on the role of Benoit Blanc — the fictional crime detective in the Rian Johnson films Knives Out and sequel Glass Onion.