Idris Elba has addressed long-standing rumours that he was in talks to play James Bond, saying “it’s a compliment and it’s an honour, but it’s not a truth”.
Back in 2021, Elba ruled himself out of taking over the role of Bond from Daniel Craig, whose last appearance as the secret agent was No Time To Die that same year.
It was later reported Elba had been in talks to star in an upcoming Bond film and producer Barbara Broccoli later confirmed that Elba has been “part of the conversation” about who’ll take on the role.
In a new interview with The Guardian, Elba said: “I love the Bond franchise, I’m very close to the producers. We were all kind of laughing about the rumours because they are just that.”
He said that taking on the role of Bond came “nowhere” close to happening but declined to say if there were ever discussions about it. “I can’t speak for them, but from my perspective, there’s never been any sort of truth to any of it,” he explained.
He then went on to compare his police detective John Luther to the heroes of Bond, Mission Impossible and the Bourne franchise. “These are solitary figures that go off and have conviction and style and grace, take out the bad guy. But I think with John there’s a sort of grounded relatability. That’s the space where I think I can take this franchise further and deeper.”
Speaking about Luther: The Fallen Sun ahead of its release, Elba told Total Film (via Radio Times): “It’s not a competition, but I reference Bond as a template for the type of film we’re going for.”
He continued: “John is a leading character in a film that he’s the hero of. That’s the comparison I’m making. Some films do them well – Bond is one of them. But my ambition for it is to have that sort of scale, that reverence.”
Elba recently hit back at the criticism he faced for saying he no longer identifies with the term “Black actor”, saying the negative comments he received were “stupid”.