James Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson respond to Bond candidate Idris Elba saying he doesn’t want the role of 007.
James Bond producers respond to Idris Elba saying he doesn’t want the role of 007. Daniel Craig’s James Bond was explosively killed off in the final moments of 2021’s No Time to Die. So for the first time in years, the coveted role of 007 is totally up for grabs.
No Time to Die did of course already introduce an alternate 007 in Lashana Lynch’s Nomi, who briefly took on the famous numerical designation before handing it back to Bond. But the chances of a woman taking on the role of 007 for real have already been firmly squashed by producers. That leaves a wide-open field of male actors vying to replace Craig as Bond, a field that for odds-makers is led by the likes of Tom Hardy, Henry Cavill, Richard Madden, James Norton and Tom Hiddleston, among others.
And then of course there is Elba, a popular pick among Bond fans. Elba becoming Bond would obviously be historic as he would be the first non-white actor to hold down the role. Unfortunately, Elba recently took himself out of the running, indicating that he’s not interested in the role of 007. For their parts, Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson seem unfazed by Elba’s remarks. Speaking to Variety, Broccoli said:
We love Idris. The thing is, it’s going to be a couple of years off. And when we cast Bond, it’s a 10-, 12-year commitment. So he’s probably thinking, ‘Do I really want that thing?’ Not everybody wants to do that. It was hard enough getting [Daniel Craig to do it].
Wilson also pointed out that Craig was in his 30s at the time he took on the role of 007 in 2006’s Casino Royale. Elba on the other hand is already 50, meaning if he committed to ten years of playing Bond, he would be in his sixties by the time he was ready to bow out. It’s also true that Elba has had to listen to years of speculation about his becoming Bond with nothing coming to fruition, and seems to have emotionally moved on from all of it. The actor even recently indicated that he’s tired of being asked about Bond, saying “I have no more answers for it. I just tell people ‘aw, don’t ask me that.’”
None of this slams the door on Elba ever being Bond of course. It could be that negotiations are happening right now, and both sides are just keeping things under wraps. On the other hand, it’s possible Elba’s public remarks are entirely sincere, and he really is not interested in taking on the role of Bond. If Elba is out of the running, there are certainly plenty of other intriguing candidates willing to line up and audition for Broccoli and Wilson. Despite having been around for sixty years, the James Bond franchise continues to be a financially successful one, and the role of 007 still holds a powerful appeal for actors.