Anthony Horowitz, author of the upcoming James Bond novel Trigger Mortis, told the Daily Mail that he believes that fan-favorite to pick up where Daniel Craig leaves off, Idris Elba, is “too street,” to play the super spy.
“Idris Elba is a terrific actor, but I can think of other black actors who would do it better,” says Horowitz. He names Adrian Lester, who starred in long-running BBC drama, Hustle.
“For me, Idris Elba is a bit too rough to play the part,” Horowitz continues. “It’s not a color issue. I think he is probably a bit too ‘street’ for Bond. Is it a question of being suave? Yeah.”
Not that Horowitz has much say in the matter. The Daily Mail notes “Horowitz can be this frank because the films are owned by Eon Productions and are nothing to do with his employers at the Fleming estate, which controls the rights to the books.”
This isn’t the first time that Elba’s candidacy for the role has been questioned. Roger Moore said in March that Idris wasn’t “English-English” and therefore should be out of the running.
“A few years ago, I said that Cuba Gooding Jr. would make an excellent Bond, but it was a joke!” said Sir Roger. “Although James may have been played by a Scot, a Welshman and an Irishman, I think he should be ‘English-English’. Nevertheless, it’s an interesting idea, but unrealistic.”
Even Rush Limbaugh was down on the idea. Last year, the über conservative radio host scoffed at the idea that Bond could even be black.
This being said, there are plenty more people in Idris’s corner than not. Pierce Brosnan, who was Bond from 1995 to 2002, says Elba would be a great 007.
“Let’s start with a great black actor being James Bond,” Brosnan told Details. “Idris Elba certainly has the physicality, the charisma, the presence. But I think Daniel [Craig] will be there for a while yet.”
In that same article, Brosnan also said that he didn’t think James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli “would allow a gay Bond to happen in her lifetime.”
All this being said, Elba’s rather bearish on his chances.
“If I were the Bond producers and everyone was pointing me toward one actor, what’s the surprise in that?” Idris told Maxim in their cover story. “Honestly, it’s one of those things that if it should happen, it would be a self-fulfilling prophecy; it would be the will of a nation.”