“They made the whole thing disgusting”: Idris Elba Reveals Why He Was Turned Off by James Bond Despite Being Tom Hanks’ Favorite Pick

Idris Elba Reveals Why He Was Turned Off by James Bond Despite Being Tom Hanks’ Favorite Pick
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Ever since Daniel Craig stepped down as the celebrated Agent 007, the franchise filmmakers have been ardently hunting for the next James Bond. Gradually, a plethora of distinguished actors, the likes of which include Idris Elba, Henry Cavill, Tom Hardy, and Aaron-Taylor Johnson, emerged in the spotlight as candidates capable of doing justice to the legacy of the Secret Service Agent.

James Bond
Daniel Craig as James Bond

Unfortunately enough, the Luther star ended up extricating himself from the race early on, and he has finally broken his silence as to why.

Related: Before Idris Elba, Even Daniel Craig Rejected $14.8B Franchise as He Thought it Had Become Stagnant – Until He Saw His $3.2M Paycheck


Idris Elba on the Idea of Playing Agent 007

Portraying a fabled figure like James Bond is a colossal feat, and Idris Elba understands all the hype and allure of it just as much as the next person. In fact, when he was faced with the prospect of possibly depicting the peerless spy in the action franchise, the Hobbs & Shaw star had been thrilled, to say the least. During his recent appearance on the SmartLess podcast, Elba, 50, said –

Idris Elba
Idris Elba

“The truth is, I was super complimented for a long time about this. I was like, ‘This is crazy!’ James Bond…We’re all actors and we understand that role. It’s one of those coveted [roles]. Being asked to be James Bond was like, ‘Ok, you’ve sort of reached the pinnacle’. That’s one of those things the whole world has a vote in.”

And he wasn’t the only one excited for the part, fans all over the world had been rooting for him, delighted at the thought of The Wire star stepping into the shoes of the charming British agent. Even veteran actor Tom Hanks believed Elba’s repertoire of work, which ranges from suspense thrillers to detective ventures, along with industry experience made him the perfect choice for the role. But alas, it wasn’t meant to be.

Related: After Blatantly Refusing James Bond Role, Idris Elba Reportedly Joining $51.8B Franchise as a Villain


Racism Was the Thorn in His Road to Becoming James Bond

The shackles of racist ideologies befalling Hollywood actors isn’t something unheard of, but it pains just the same to see talented stars lose out on golden opportunities like this one because of the same. This is why, when the conversation about Elba playing Bond on-screen veered off track into a completely unrelated matter of race, he immediately detached himself from the game.

Idris Elba
The idea of playing 007 became stale for Idris Elba because of racism

Related: Idris Elba Blasts Identity Politics Branding Him as the “First Black to do this or that”: “We are obsessed with race. We’ve got to grow”



“Essentially, it was a huge compliment that every corner of the world except from some corners, which we will not talk about, were really happy about the idea that I could be considered. Those that weren’t happy about the idea made the whole thing disgusting and off-putting, because it became about race. It became about nonsense and I got the brunt of it.”

While his name might have been swirling around the internet quite a lot recently owing to the James Bond race, Elba has been in the pipeline to potentially take over the character for years now. But as Variety reported, back in 2015, mystery novelist Anthony Horowitz had claimed how The Suicide Squad star was “too street” to play the suave spy. So, it’s understandable why Elba would want to put as much distance between him and such matters as he possibly can.

Source: SmartLess


Written by Khushi

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With a prolific knowledge of everything pop culture and a strong penchant for writing, Khushi has penned over 700 articles during her time as an author at FandomWire.
An abnormal psychology student and an fervent reader of dark fiction, her most trusted soldiers are coffee and a good book.