James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli has said that the role of the iconic spy is open to a black actor once Daniel Craig completes his final film.
The Daily Star has today (August 9) revealed the details of a conversation between Broccoli and director Antoine Fuqua with Broccoli reportedly saying that “it is time” for a non-white actor to take over the role of Bond, adding that it “will happen eventually.”
Fuqua went on to discuss who might be in the running for the role, with the director dropping the strongest hint yet that Idris Elba was a frontrunner.
“Idris could do it if he was in shape,” Fuqua said, adding: “You need a guy with physically strong presence. Idris has that.”
It’s not the first time Broccoli has hinted at the possibility of a non-white actor – or actress – playing the role, with the producer having said “anything is possible” with regards to casting previously.
Elba spoke about the part only recently, after speaking to the Press Association about his next project, which aims to bring the famous Quasimodo story to life.
He said: “Hunchback of Notre Dame is what I am doing next. It’s very, very different. “I’m going to say a reinvention of the story, so I am excited about that.” As well as starring in the lead role, Elba will produce and direct the as yet untitled Netflix film.
When asked about his suitability to play the role, the ‘Luther’ actor addressed the James Bond rumours, joking that the hunchback role might dent his chances of ever playing Bond. He said: “I didn’t really think [about that]…It scuppers my James Bond chances then I guess.”
Current Bond Craig announced he was returning to the iconic role last summer after initially saying he would rather “slash his wrists” than have to play Bond again. However, speaking to Stephen Colbert last summer, Craig confirmed he would be returning, adding “I just want to go out on a high note and I can’t wait.”
Craig first took on the role in the 2006 Bond outing, Casino Royale. This was followed by Quantum of Solace in 2008, Skyfall in 2012 and Spectre in 2015.
The next Bond film will be directed by Trainspotting director Danny Boyle who was called “exceptionally talented” by Broccoli and Michael G Wilson, both of whom head the production company behind the Bond franchise, Eon.
Details about the release date of the next Bond film were announced last year. The film will be released in UK cinemas on 25 October 2019.