Idris Elba is currently in talks to star in the next James Bond film, but won’t play the titular role of special agent 007. The Golden Globe-wining actor has been told by MGM, the studio behind the hit spy franchise, that they have a villainous role in the series’ next installment for him, if he’s interested in it, The Sun is reporting.
The news comes after Elba was initially rumored to replace the eponymous spy following Daniel Craig’s departure from the franchise, after his final portrayal of the British MI6 agent in last month’s acclaimed drama, No Time to Die. But the Emmy Award-nominated Elba stated last month at the London premiere for his new Netflix Western movie, The Harder They Fall, that “No, I’m not going to be James Bond.”
MGM has long expressed its interest in working with the Luther star on the upcoming 26th entry in the James Bond series. The studio recognizes the amount of respect he commands amongst his Hollywood colleagues and with film audiences, and they want to work with him on developing a completely original character for the next installment. It has also been reported that discussions between Elba and MGM are only in the very early stages.
The news of Elba’s potential casting as a villain in the next James Bond film comes after Dwayne Johnson revealed in a interview with Esquire earlier this month that he’s interested in succeeding Craig as the next actor to play the titular spy.
While talking about his departure from the James Bond franchise, Craig revealed that he initially discussed the idea of how he would retire as the titular hero with producers before he started work on his first film in the series, 2006’s Casino Royale.
“When I started as Bond on Casino Royale, one of the early discussions I had with [producers] Barbara [Broccoli] and Michael [G Wilson] was that I would like to be killed off when I am finished,” the BAFTA Award-nominated actor revealed. His wish came to fruition when his version of Bond died during No Time to Die.