James Bond producers are scrambling for a new 007, and it seems Idris Elba could still be in the running – if he wants it.
Elba has been talked about as the next James Bond for years, and he’s apparently even denied wanting to take on the role. Now producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson have responded to the actor’s hesitation.
“He’s awesome,” Wilson told Variety, and Broccoli is quick to add, “We love Idris.”
“The thing is, it’s going to be a few more years,” Broccoli continued. “And if we cast Bond, that’s a 10, 12-year commitment. So he’s probably thinking, “Do I really want this thing? Not everyone wants that. It was hard enough to get [Daniel Craig to do it].
Wilson pointed out that Craig, who is now 54, was in his 30s when he first started as Bond. Since Elba is 50 years old, he would be at least in his 60s by the time he retires, which makes the casting seem unlikely.
007 producers shared that many actors – especially young actors – think they want to do Bond, but don’t understand what that commitment really means.
“A lot of people are like, ‘Oh yeah, it would be fun to do one,'” Broccoli said, laughing. “Well. This won’t work.”
“Releasing a new Bond is a big investment for us too,” Wilson added.
It is unclear whether the “Luther” actor is no longer an option – or whether he was even a candidate.
In January, Broccoli admitted casting Elba was “part of the conversation,” but they didn’t want to hold talks while Craig still held the Bond title.
“You know, it was part of the conversation, but it’s always difficult to have the conversation when someone’s in the seat,” she said on Deadline’s Crew Call podcast at the time.
Elba has previously expressed interest in becoming Bond but may have made a change in attitude towards the coveted franchise in recent years.
Earlier this month, the ‘Three Thousand Years of Longing’ actor told listeners of The Shop podcast, ‘It’s not a goal for my career’ as far as the role goes. “I don’t think playing Bond will achieve some of my personal goals.”
“It will definitely satisfy the will of a nation,” he continued. “I’m not going to lie, I go to every corner of the world and I speak about different cultures, they always say ‘Bond’ and I feel like it’s on top of me at this crossroads. It is a mystery to me. You know, it’s not about should I, I do, I will. It is what the will of the nation sometimes dictates.”
Speaking on the Jemele Hill is Unbothered podcast in August, the “Thor” actor expressed his frustration at being asked if he would be the next James Bond.
“I don’t have any more answers. I just tell people, ‘Oh, don’t ask me that,'” he admitted. “I try to say the same things. Every once in a while I just tease them, but every once in a while I give them a philosophy as to why I don’t want to do it or why it’s a rumor. But mostly now I tend not to talk about it.”
Broccoli and Wilson admitted they hadn’t spoken to Elba at the time of the interview, but it’s still “getting started” in picking an actor to take on 007.