It’s not entirely clear when the trend started – we originally reported on it all the way back in 2012 – but for the better part of a decade, it seems like there’s been a push to have Idris Elba take on the role of iconic MI6 special agent James Bond. It’s not hard to see why some have been clamoring for this particular casting direction, either.
Aside from his British heritage, Idris certainly has the physique and demeanor to play a globe-trotting spy, and his smoldering good looks also help. In fact, there’ve been plenty of industry figures – from a former head of Sony Pictures to the man behind Thor – who would love to see Elba take on the role. However, if we’re being honest, there’s an elephant in the room that has to be addressed.
While most people don’t associate him with Ian Fleming’s series of novels, James Bond is, in fact, based off a book character who was depicted as being white. To be fair, the films essentially threw out any semblance of continuity with the reboot series starring Daniel Craig, and at this point, Bond’s physical appearance has changed so much over the past 50 years that he’s become more defined by his charm and profession than his actual ethnic identity.
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In fact, while most Americans don’t seem keen on the idea of an Asian or Hispanic actor taking on the role – that’s a can of worms which is too large to unpack here – a majority are in favor of a black actor. Still, as the Daily Express reports, Idris Elba has become disheartened when some reject him solely because of his race.
“James Bond is a hugely coveted, iconic, beloved character, that takes audiences on this massive escapism journey,” he explained.“Of course, if someone said to me ‘Do you want to play James Bond?,’ I’d be like, ‘Yeah!’ That’s fascinating to me. But it’s not something I’ve expressed, like, Yeah, I wanna be the black James Bond. You just get disheartened when you get people from a generational point of view going, ‘It can’t be.’ And it really turns out to be the colour of my skin.”
Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing Idris Elba as 007. He definitely has the acting chops and experience working on action films to pull it off, but it looks like we’ll just have to wait and see what the producers have in store for us after Bond 25 hits theaters on April 8th, 2020.