There has been buzzing in the past few years that there would be a new, Black James Bond. The name that came up the most was that of popular, heartthrob UK actor Idris Elba. There has been much opposition to such an idea, but it has usually been more about White Bond fans not being comfortable with a Black man playing the “International Man of Mystery.” However, Anthony Horowitz, author of the latest James Bond novel, “Trigger Mortis,” has stated that Elba wouldn’t be a good fit for the role, stating that Elba is “probably a bit too ‘street’ for Bond. Is it a question of being suave? Yeah.”
Horowitz attributed his assessment to his role in Luther, but Idris Elba’s role as the dastardly Stringer Bell on the classic HBO series The Wire probably played a part. Yes, Stringer was a drug trafficker that saw to it that there was dope on West Baltimore streets and arranged murders. His character was also a slight contrast from others on the street, due to his desire to run the drug game like a Fortune 500 company. He was an asshole, but he surely was “suave” and debonair in the way that he carried himself and conducted his business. Stringer Bell might just be a good Black James Bond.
However, The Wire’s Stringer Bell is a fictional character and Idris Elba is a real person. From what he’s presented, he doesn’t seem all that goony in real life. He appears to be a jokester and DJ’s from time to time. Overall, he is an accomplished actor, a spot usually not reserved for thugs in the street. Was Horowitz saying Elba wasn’t sophisticated or “cool” enough to pull off the role?
Horowitz did apologize, claiming Elba’s role in Luther was his motivation. He said:
There is still going to be a Black James Bond, just not on film. Actor David Oyelowo–of Selma fame–will voice James Bond in the audio book of “Trigger Mortis.”