The James Bond producers are searching for a new 007, and it appears Idris Elba could still be in the running — if he wants it.
Talk of Elba being the next James Bond has been going on for years, and he’s even seemingly denied wanting to take on the role. Now, producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson have responded to the actor’s hesitance.
“He’s great,” Wilson told Variety, and Broccoli quickly added, “We love Idris.”
“The thing is, it’s going to be a couple of years off,” Broccoli continued. “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 pointed out that Craig, who is now 54, was in his 30s when he first started as Bond. With Elba being 50, he would be at least in his 60s by the time he would call it quits, making the casting look unlikely.
The 007 producers shared that many actors, particularly young actors, think they want to do Bond, but they don’t understand what that commitment really means.
“A lot of people think, ‘Oh yeah, it’d be fun to do one,'” Broccoli said, laughing. “Well. That ain’t gonna work.”
“It’s a big investment for us, too, to bring out a new Bond,” Wilson added.
It’s unclear whether this means the “Luther” actor is no longer being considered — or if he was even a contender in the first place.
In January, Broccoli admitted that casting Elba was “part of the conversation”; however, they didn’t want to have talks while Craig was still holding the Bond title.
“You know, it’s been part of the conversation, but it’s always difficult to have the conversation when you have someone in the seat,” she said on Deadline’s “Crew Call” podcast at the time.
Elba has previously expressed interest in becoming Bond, but he may have had a change of attitude toward the coveted franchise in recent years.
Earlier this month, the “Three Thousand Years of Longing” actor told “The Shop” podcast listeners, “It is not a goal for my career,” regarding the role. “I don’t think that, you know, playing Bond will satisfy some of my personal goals.”
“It will definitely satisfy the will of a nation,” he continued. “I’m not gonna lie, every corner of the world I go, and I’m talking about different cultures, they always go ‘Bond,’ and I feel it is beyond me at this junction. It’s beyond me. You know, it’s not a question of, should I, do I, will I. It is what the will of the nation dictates sometimes.”
Speaking on the “Jemele Hill Is Unbothered” podcast in August, the “Thor” actor expressed his frustration about being asked whether he would be the next James Bond.
“I have no more answers for it. I just tell people, ‘Aw, don’t ask me that,’” he admitted. “I try to say the same things. Every now and then I just tease them, but every now and then I’ll give them some philosophy on why I don’t want to do it or why it’s a rumor. But most times now I tend not to talk about it.”
At the time of the interview, Broccoli and Wilson admitted they haven’t recently spoken to Elba, but it’s still “early days” to choose an actor to take on 007.