Rumors Idris Elba Could Be The Next James Bond Are Heating Up

Idris Elba has been earning his share of action star bona fides lately, starring as anti-superhero, deadshot, and all-around bada** Bloodsport in D.C.'s August 2021 release, "The Suicide Squad." Three months later, he followed that up with Netflix's uber-bloody, gun-touting western epic, "The Harder They Fall" — a film Variety opined could earn Elba a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nod, with the outlet describing Elba's "terrifying" villain as similar to Heath Ledger's Joker in "The Dark Knight" with an additional "impassioned edge." 

Both these roles come at the age of 49 for Elba, proving the star's fighting days are far from behind him, begging the old question: Now that Daniel Craig hung up his Walther PPK, will this much-beloved English actor get a real shot at playing titular character James Bond? Elba faced ageism and racism in the past whenever his name surfaced as a possible Craig replacement. As Elba admitted to Vanity Fair in 2019, "You just get disheartened, when you get people from a generational point of view going, 'It can't be.' And it turns out to be the color of my skin." However, Elba also made clear he wouldn't turn down the 007 title if offered. "Of course, if someone said to me. 'Do you want to play James Bond?,' I'd be like, 'Yeah!,'" he emphatically noted.

After MGM studio boss Pamela Abdy confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter in December 2021 that early talks about the next "Bond" have started, how are Elba's chances looking these days? 

Did Idris Elba just jump to the front of the line in James Bond talks?

Idris Elba fans, rejoice — the tall, slick, and handsome Brit might be the next James Bond after all. In an interview with the Deadline podcast, franchise producer Barbara Broccoli confirmed the veteran actor was indeed "part of the conversation" as far as actor talks have gone. 

Elaborating, Broccoli said, "Well, we know Idris, we're friends with him, and he's a magnificent actor ... but it's always difficult to have the conversation when you have someone in the seat," referencing the studio waiting for Daniel Craig to end his franchise run before talks for replacements began. As Broccoli clarified, "I think we have decided that until 'No Time to Die' has had its run and ... well, we've all been able to savor, reap the benefits of Daniel's wonderful tenure, we're not gonna think about, or talk about anybody else."

It's clear the powers that be are aware of fan favoritism for Elba, but he isn't the only one who has been fan-casted. Per December 2021 US-Bookies betting odds (per Cinemablend), newly minted Marvel Cinematic Universe star (in "Eternals"), Richard Madden, was the frontrunner with an odds of three-to-one. "Venom" star Tom Hardy followed at four-to-one while recent live-action Superman, Henry Cavill, stood at five-to-one. Although Elba was fourth at six-to-one, we would bump him a few spots higher after Broccoli's big reveal.