Idris Elba Had To Cut A Joke About Black James Bond In Hobbs & Shaw


When it comes to summer blockbusters, plenty of moviegoers have squarely placed Hobbs & Shaw on their radar. The first spinoff in the long-running Fast and the Furious franchise follows federal agent Luke Hobbs (played by the always-likable Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) as he teams up with Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw in an effort to take down Brixton Lore, a cyber-genetically enhanced terrorist who’s hellbent on unleashing a deadly virus that could wipe out humanity. Yep, it’s about as cliched as a plot gets, but at the end of the day, people are flocking to the series for some cheesy one-liners and bombastic action, not carefully woven storylines.

Idris Elba, who plays Lore, has already stood out as a rather badass character, thanks to the film’s handful of promotional trailers. Not only does he seem like a formidable opponent for the titular duo, but his iconic line about being a “black Superman” has taken the world by storm. Interestingly though, as reported by, it seems that particular quip started off as something entirely different.

As it turns out, the line was originally supposed to be “I’m a black James Bond.” However, as Elba explained to Variety, he felt the line was a little too on-the-nose, especially considering the years of casting controversy surrounding the push to have Idris take on the mantle of 007. It’s not entirely clear who wrote the revised joke, but as Elba explains, it was a result of some improv.

“The line was just improvised. I was in one of these takes and I was really riffing, and then it came out and [director David Leitch] loved it, and so we kept it.”

Oddly enough, Dwayne Johnson has also taken credit for the quip, saying:

“Everyone loves ‘the black Superman’ line. Everyone’s taking credit for it – Idris, our director, our producers, I’m sure, Jason [Statham]…[but] I came up with that,” Johnson said. “I said, ‘What about the black Superman?’’ And everyone’s like, ‘Great!’ [But] now everyone takes credit.”

While we’ve heard rumors that a female 007 is on the way, for now, we will just have to be content with Elba playing the bad guy – if it’s any consolation, we’re sincerely hoping this new role kickstarts his appearance in more action movies when Hobbs & Shaw is released on August 2nd.