As principal photography continues on Bond 25, actor Idris Elba comments on rumors and fan support that he will replace Daniel Craig to become the first black James Bond.
Elba denied that he had ever been approached by the producers to take on the role of the iconic British super-spy, echoing a succinct denial last year to resurgent rumors that he would replace Craig following Bond 25. Despite this, Elba noted he would be interested in taking the part if ever offered.
"James Bond is a hugely coveted, iconic, beloved character, that takes audiences on this massive escapism journey," observed Elba in an interview with Vanity Fair. "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.'"
Elba has since had fun playing with fan expectations, fueling speculation with social media posts. However, Elba finds it disappointing hearing some don't think he could take the part due to his race, with undue expectation riding against black actors that would portray the role all because of their ethnic background.
"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 color of my skin," admitted Elba. "And then if I get it and it didn’t work, or it did work, would it be because of the color of my skin? That’s a difficult position to put myself into when I don’t need to.”
Directed and co-written by Cary Fukunaga, Bond 25 stars Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Rory Kinnear, Léa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Jeffrey Wright, Ana de Armas, Dali Benssalah, David Dencik, Lashana Lynch, Billy Magnussen and Rami Malek. It is scheduled for release on April 8, 2020.