Idris Elba’s name has been mentioned to play the next James Bond since the Sony email leak of 2014. Fans of the Black Brit may have lost hope the following year when he was deemed “too street” for the role, but it seems film producers are, once again, taking the talented actor into consideration.
The Independent reports that Bond producers are leaning toward casting Elba as 007, according to a conversation between film director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, The Magnificent Seven) and producer Barbara Broccoli.
“Director Antoine Fuqua revealed the details of a conversation with Bond producer Barbara Broccoli, in which she said ‘it is time’ for a non-white actor to take on the iconic role. Fuqua discussed who might be next in the running with Broccoli, who’s certain the progressive move ‘will happen eventually,’ witha reported frontrunner for the role.”
Elba isn’t the only non-White English actor who could take on the iconic role, but he’s certainly the favorite. His name being brought back into the conversation also speaks to the current bankability of Black leads. With the success of Black Panther and increasing mainstream acceptance of Black narratives, Elba is no longer “too street” for the part, but the leading man fans will support with their box office dollars.
The man himself, however, doesn’t seem to be chasing the coveted role, telling Variety that he wouldn’t mind seeing a woman play the philandering secret service agent.
“Are we interested in having a Bond character other than being a male? Could be a woman, could be a black woman, could be a white woman, but I think, that character, everybody would like to see it have—do something different with it, why not?”