Verses: Should Idris Elba Be The Next 007?

One tweet; one tweet is all it took to get major publishers talking about Idris Elba playing James Bond again.

It’s quite possible the Luther star enjoyed a couple of late night beers and wanted to play with the media after posting at 1 am. Nevertheless, 180,000 likes and 37,000 retweets later and we’re here debating the 45-year-old as 007 once more following the Hackney-born’s post of a blurry image with the words, ‘my name’s Elba, Idris Elba’.

To the point, wanting to be noticed, and confident – he fits the part for Bond already.

Idris Elba has previously been voted in the Time 100 list of most influential people (Photo by Alexander Koerner/Getty Images)

A good 007?

Away from Elba’s social media messages, the actor ticks a lot of the boxes. Thick British accent: check. Dons a tux: check. Played previous spy roles: check.

There’s, therefore, a lot in favour for the 45-year-old. Elba’s real-life antics have also included breaking an 88-year-old land speed record whilst filming Idris Elba: No Limits, as well as undertaking a 12-month kickboxing and martial arts course ahead of his professional kickboxing victory over Lionel Graves in 2017.

So far so good, made even more encouraging when Elba said himself how he would jump at the opportunity, ‘It would be such an honor, I mean what do we have to do here? We have to wear beautiful suits, drive nice cars, chase bad guys and date beautiful women? I dunno, sounds good to me’, speaking to CNN on the 007 role.

However, it’s all well and good looking the part in a black tie outfit and driving fast cars, but a James Bond needs to carry an authority over others; own the role with a swag and arrogance that isn’t necessarily acted, but comes naturally to them in person – T.R. Witcher, of AV Film, believes Elba has such qualities:

“Look, the key to the Bond role is charisma. Authority. These are the qualities that the two best Bonds – Connery and Craig – have in abundance. So does Elba. An actor either has it or doesn’t. You can’t act charisma.”

Elba has already featured in thriller film and TV series such as The Wire, Luther and Ridley Scott’s, American Gangster (Photo from Flickr)

A wrong fit?

Elba is not without his critics. English writer Anthony Horowitz suggested the Hackney-born actor wouldn’t be a good fit for the 007 role, ‘For me, Idris Elba is a bit too rough to play the part. It’s not a colour issue. I think he is probably a bit too ‘street’ for Bond. Is it a question of being suave? Yeah.’

Although Horowitz apologised and referred to his term of ‘street’ as ‘clumsy’, the writer insisted he was commenting on Elba’s portrayal of DCI John Luther who isn’t as ‘suave’ as Bond himself when making the ‘street’ remarks.

More controversially, American radio host, Rush Limbaugh, argued Elba shouldn’t play the role as he doesn’t fit Ian Flemming’s description of the character, ‘James Bond is a total concept put together by Ian Fleming. He was white and Scottish. Period. That is who James Bond is. But now they are suggesting that the next Bond should be Idris Elba, a black Briton, rather than a white from Scotland. But that’s not who James Bond is.’

On top of this, although former 007 agent, Pierce Brosnan, threw support behind Elba for the role, he stated Tom Hardy would be best suited to take over from Daniel Craig, ‘I think Tom Hardy could be a good Bond. I’d be happy to see him do it. You need an actor who can put a bit of wiggle into it – that’s what makes Bond.’

With Elba soon turning 46, he will be at least pushing the 50-mark after Craig has shot his final Bond movie; with the latter starting his legacy as young as 39 during Casino Royal, it begs the question, does Elba have the age and physical attributes to lay down a James Bond legacy as his predecessors?

Have your say on whether Idris Elba should be the next James Bond by taking part in our poll here.



Start the discussion

to comment