She’s served as the boss of two separate 007s herself and now former franchise star Judi Dench seems to have a feeling that Idris Elba might be the one to take over the role of James Bond from Daniel Craig. With next year’s No Time to Die marking Craig’s final turn as the super-spy, fans are wondering who will be hired as his replacement. And, after years of being linked to the part, Elba is still the name on everyone’s lips. In fact, Dench even thinks there’s a good chance that he could land the gig.
Speaking on The Graham Norton Show, in an episode set to air tonight (December 13th) on BBC One, the veteran actress revealed that she joked about the Bond rumors with Elba on the set of Cats. But it was all in good fun, as she actually believes there’s a decent chance that it could happen.
“I knew he was up for [Bond]. In Cats I had the line to him, ‘You’ll never get to the Heaviside Layer. But during rehearsals I said, ‘You’ll never get to MI6’… But I think he might.”
Of course, Dench first joined the Bond world back in 1995’s GoldenEye, debuting as the first female M. She remained in the role for 17 years, overseeing all of Pierce Brosnan’s tenure and three-fifths of Craig’s, before bowing out in 2012’s Skyfall. Since then, Ralph Fiennes has stepped in as the current M. So, her prediction has a certain weight to it, even though probably no one other than series producer Barbara Broccoli has any idea at this stage what’ll happen.
For what it’s worth, Elba himself has stated that, despite being “fascinated” by the concept of playing Bond, it’s never been anything he’s gone after. Given the overwhelming support for the idea of him in the role, however, you’d think EON and Sony would at least bring him in to discuss it following Bond 25. After all, the film’s even sowing the seeds for a black Bond, with Lashana Lynch’s Nomi reportedly MI6’s new 007.