Idris Elba is said to have walked away from ‘years of talks’ with movie bosses to become the next James Bond, paving the way for a new 007.
Reports that the actor, 49, may not be taking over from Daniel Craig, 54, as the iconic super spy have left fans speculating over who is now favourite to take on the role.
Bookmakers William Hill have now placed Henry Cavill at the forefront with 5/2, Regé Jean-Page with odds of 4/1, followed by Tom Hardy and James Norton both with 6/1 and Chiwetel Ejiofor at 7/1.
‘He’s been in talks for so long’: This week, it was alleged Idris Elba has walked away from ‘years of talks’ with movie bosses to become the next James Bond (pictured in May 2022)
Henry has been on record for years indicating he’s still interested in the coveted role should an opportunity arise.
He told The Sunday Times in 2021 that ‘time will tell’ if he becomes the latest actor to portray the iconic role, with Daniel Craig exiting the action franchise.
‘You don’t know which direction they want to take Bond in and so I like to say that everything’s always on the table,’ he said.
The Superman star, who was up for the role in 2005 when Daniel was cast, speculated on who could be eyed for the role.
He told GQ in 2020 that he ‘would absolutely jump at the opportunity’ if it arose, as he ‘would love to play Bond’ and that ‘it would be very, very exciting.’
Could it be? Naturally, reports that the actor, 49, may not be starring as 007 left fans heartbroken but also excited as whispers continued (Henry Cavill pictured in 2021)
Regé-Jean admitted last year that he’s ‘flattered’ to be included among a host of British stars tipped for the iconic role.
He told The Mirror: ‘Ah, the B word. I think that if you are British and you do anything of note, that other people take notice of, then people will start talking about that.’
However despite being the bookies favourite, the Brigerton star said he was bemused by the idea of making any plans at ‘this moment in history’ and has ‘given up’ doing so.
He also admitted that he can be a bit of a ‘racehorse’, often signing onto a project and focusing completely on it with the ‘blinders on’.
Talented: Bookmakers placed Henry at the forefront with 5/2, Regé Jean-Page (pictured in July 2022) with odds of 4/1
Tom confirmed that he wants to be the next 007 – by refusing to talk about the part in fear it will get him blacklisted.
Speaking to the Daily Beast in 2017, he admitted: ‘If I mention it, it’s gone.’
He explained: ‘You know, there’s a saying amongst us in the fraternity of acting, and in the fellowship of my peer group, that if you talk about it you’re automatically out of the race. So I can’t possibly comment on that one!’
But Moneypenny actress Naomie Harris said she believes he should get the part.
Speaking on ITV’s Lorraine, the Moonlight star admitted that she’d ‘never worked with Tom before’ but is clearly a huge fan.
She added: ‘I think what he does is so special and technically difficult. He would make a great Bond but they always pick someone we don’t expect and is up and coming’.
Actor: Tom Hardy (pictured in 2015) and James Norton both follow with 6/1 and Chiwetel Ejiofor at 7/1
The Grantchester star said that it’s ‘crazy and quite flattering’ to be considered a replacement for James Bond – although him being considered is ‘pure speculation’.
He told The Times in 2020 being in the running is: ‘Crazy… It’s bizarre and quite flattering to be even considered in that world, but beyond that? Pure speculation.’
James added: ‘I love the franchise and hope Barbara Broccoli continues to make it relevant. Going into the heart of Bond’s private world, as opposed to one-liners, is already progress.’
In an interview with GQ in 2021, he insisted that while having a ‘Bond of colour’ is important, executives should focus on ‘treating the cause rather than the symptom’.
The TV star said: ‘That, I think, is more important. Obviously, casting a Bond of colour is important if handled in a sensitive way, but there’s a bigger picture: we need to treat the cause rather than the symptom.
‘There is an argument, that, rather than make Bond a person of colour, why not create a new story that is authentically representative and isn’t repurposed?
‘But, then, you’re never going to create a franchise that will compete with the power of Bond from the off. It has to be a bit of everything, doesn’t it? I realise I’m talking in platitudes.’
Fingers crossed! The Grantchester said said that it’s ‘crazy and quite flattering’ to be considered a replacement for James Bond (pictured in 2021)
It was first reported in 2014 that The 12 Years A Slave star was the first choice to play 007’s adversary.
Producers Barbara and Michael G. Wilson want the Oscar and Golden Globe-nominated actor but have yet to make a formal offer, Variety claimed.
This was alleged before Spectre’s release in November 2015 and Daniel had already signed on to return as Bond for the upcoming movie and the 25th iteration.
But Chiwetel told Variety of his The Martian co-star in 2015: ‘I want Michael Peña to be James Bond. That’s what I want.’
Dapper: It was first reported in 2014 that The 12 Years A Slave star was the first choice to play 007’s adversary (pictured in 2019)
Idris was the bookies’ favourite to replace Daniel as the super spy, but is keen to pursue other roles – and has even put forward a list of proposed names to producer Barbara Broccoli of actors to play 007.
A source told The Sun: ‘Fans and Barbara wanted Idris but he wants to create something for himself.
‘However, he’s put forward names to play 007. He’s ‘informally’ in the decision-making process as he’s been in talks with producers for so long.’
MailOnline contacted reps for Idris and James Bond producers for comment at the time.
While at the premiere of his movie The Harder They Fall in 2021, Idris said when asked if he’ll be considered as the next 007 he said: ‘No, I’m not going to be James Bond.’
He also told The Express about the rumours: ‘I’m probably the most famous Bond actor in the world, and I haven’t even played the role.’
Idris then added: ‘Enough is enough. I can’t talk about it anymore.’
James Bond producer Barbara previously admitted it will take a long time to choose Craig’s 007 replacement.
The filmmaker insisted it’s not as easy as picking an actor to take on the iconic role of the suave spy.
Speaking to Variety, Barbara said: ‘It’s a big decision.
Not for me: Idris wishes to pursue other roles and has suggested other actors to producer Barbara Broccoli following Daniel Craig (pictured) quitting the role
‘It’s not just casting a role. It’s about a whole rethink about where we’re going.’
Earlier this year, the blockbuster franchise’s producer confirmed Idris was ‘part of the conversation’ to be the next 007.
She told Deadline’s Crew Call podcast: ‘Well, we know Idris, we’re friends with him, and he’s a magnificent actor.’
‘And, you know, it’s been a part of the conversation, but it’s always difficult to have the conversation when you have someone in the seat.’
Barbara added that there is no rush from Bond bosses to name the actor as they wanted to let the cast and crew savour the Craig’s final movie No Time To Die.
She said: ‘I think we have decided that until No Time To Die has had its run and Daniel has been able to – well, we’ve all been able to savour, reap the benefits of Daniel’s wonderful tenure, we’re not gonna think about, or talk about anybody else.’
The producer also hinted at a reimagining of the franchise. explaining: ‘It’s a reinvention of Bond. We’re working out where to go with him, we’re talking that through.’
Iconic: James Bond producer Barbara previously admitted it will take a long time to choose Craig’s 007 replacement (Daniel pictured in-character in 2015)
She added though that any casting announcements are a way off. ‘We’re reinventing who he is and that takes time,’ she continued. ‘There isn’t a script and we can’t come up with one until we decide how we’re going to approach the next film.
‘I’d say that filming is at least two years away.’
One thing is for sure though, Bond won’t be a woman. Broccoli told the PA news agency in September: ‘James Bond is a male character. I hope that there will be many, many films made with women, for women, by women, about women.
‘I don’t think we have to take a male character and have a woman portray him. So yes, I see him as male.’
Daniel revealed that he was originally told he’d have to star in four films by boss Broccoli, leading him to ask if the character could be ‘killed off.’
The actor, who made his fifth and final appearance as 007 in No Time To Die last year, confessed it was ‘a lot’ being told he’d have to make such a commitment to the part, setting the stage for the agent’s surprise death many years later.
Speaking on the Awards Chatter podcast earlier this year, Daniel said that he felt Bond was ‘happy and fulfilled’ when he finally met his maker, while detailing the moment he became’ choked up’ during his final day of filming.
Daniel explained that after his first Bond outing in Casino Royale in 2006 he had asked Broccoli how many he had to make.
Speaking out: Daniel previously explained that after his first Bond outing in Casino Royale in 2006 he had asked Broccoli how many he had to make (pictured in-character in 2006)
He said: ‘I was sitting in the back of a black Mercedes driving away from the Berlin premiere of Casino Royale with Barbara Broccoli in the back – just me and her – everything was good, the movie was doing great, it was like ‘we’d done it, it was time for a bit of celebration’.
‘I said ‘how many of these movies do I have to make?’ And she was like ‘four’. And I was like ‘oh, really? That’s a lot?’
‘I said ”OK, if I make four can I kill him off at the end?” And she paused, and she just went ”yes”.
‘I had a sort of plan in my head, I don’t know what the plan was, that if we got it right and if we got it to a place, then they needed to re-set.
‘And to properly re-set you need to get rid of one idea of it and start another idea of it. And I just felt like ‘get rid of my version and someone else can start, and they can start their version’.
‘But it also meant that what I could do is there could be some sort of arc, emotional arc, that I could aim for, and that something he does or has to do means he has to end and that he can’t be around any more.
‘And that was a really, really difficult story to figure out, but I knew that if we got it right then it would be the ultimate sacrifice, but the ultimate sacrifice for a good reason.’
The latest movie in the long-running spy franchise was delayed three times due to the coronavirus crisis but still managed to become the biggest Hollywood title of 2021
There had been much speculation about whether the star was finished as 007 after 2015’s Spectre but he revealed that there was one story thread from his first Bond film, 2006’s Casino Royale, that coaxed him to return for one last time as the iconic secret agent.
‘I thought I probably was physically not capable of doing another. For me, it was very cut and dried that I wasn’t coming back,’ Daniel told Total Film.
Broccoli added that Craig was, ‘so exhausted after that film,’ adding they knew the actor needed a break.
Nearly two years passed before Barbara and her half-brother Michael Wilson, who run Eon Productions together, approached Daniel about doing one more Bond movie, when Daniel recalled a story thread from Casino Royale that he wanted to complete.
‘We started talking about it and I went, ‘There might be a story we need to finish here – something we started in Casino (Royale),” Daniel said.
”Something to do with Vesper, and Spectre, and something that was connected, in a way.’ It started to formulate. And I thought, ‘Here we go,” he added.
Moving: Speaking on the Awards Chatter podcast, Daniel said that he felt Bond was ‘happy and fulfilled’ when he finally met his maker (pictured in-character in 2020)