The case for Idris Elba to be the next James Bond

by Jenny Nicholls / 13 August, 2018
Elba, Idris Elba. Photo/Getty.

Elba, Idris Elba. Photo/Getty.

Will British actor Idris Elba be the first black Bond?

Exhibit one: Bond producer Barbara Broccoli's recent statement that "it is time" for a non-white actor to take on the role.

Exhibit two: Elba's Sunday tweet: "my name's Elba, Idris Elba."

Now that 50-year-old Daniel Craig is rumoured to be hanging up his Walther PPK, Idris is a leading contender to play the world's most famous spy, although English bookies favour Tom Hardy aka "Mad Max" Rockatansky. But Elba is running second, ahead of Homeland's Damian Lewis, Poldark's Aidan Turner, The Night Manager's old Etonian Tom Hiddleston and Superman star Henry Cavill.

You will be relieved to know North & South has done the heavy lifting on this question, so you don't have to. We find for Idris Elba, by an Aston Martin's length. To be honest, if Elba spent 100 minutes on film doing up his shoelaces, we would be burning a vapour trail to the box office to watch him do it.

Elba first sauntered dangerously into our world as the ganglord-businessman "Stringer" Bell in HBO series The Wire, so strangely charismatic he could dominate a scene without opening his mouth. But it was as introspective train-wreck Detective John Luther in the BBC series Luther that really rang our bells.

The man can act. Not only that, he is a towering streak of cool, the dudiest dude in England. His competition for the role of 007 lacks this crucial quality. Turner (ex-Poldark) glowers too much, and Tom Hardy... (Tom who? You ask? Exactly.) Lewis (ex-Homeland) appears to have difficulty speaking. Are his jaws wired shut? Tom Hiddleston is too Pierce Brosnan. Henry Cavill, it's true, revealed serious martini-sipping form as  Napoleon Solo in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. But that perfect face has the inner life of a Brandy Alexander. As James Bond, Daniel Craig suffered, and he did it magnificently. He was more than just a cocktail.

The exploding gold cufflinks can go to only one man.

Latest

The new What We Do in the Shadows is more dad joke than demonic
104712 2019-04-19 00:00:00Z Television

The new What We Do in the Shadows is more dad joke…

by Diana Wichtel

Diana Wichtel reviews a new American TV series based on the hit Kiwi comedy.

Read more
Louis & Louise is a satisfying exploration of gender and identity
104230 2019-04-19 00:00:00Z Books

Louis & Louise is a satisfying exploration of gend…

by Brigid Feehan

In her latest novel, Julie Cohen traces the parallel male and female lives of a single character.

Read more
Win a copy of Sir David Attenborough's Life on Earth: 40th Anniversary Edition
104844 2019-04-19 00:00:00Z Win

Win a copy of Sir David Attenborough's Life on Ear…

by The Listener

To celebrate Sir David Attenborough season on Sky, we are giving away copies of his book Life on Earth: 40th Anniversary Edition.

Read more
The Kiwi behind the powerful Aspen Institute's Queenstown launch
104788 2019-04-18 09:00:50Z Profiles

The Kiwi behind the powerful Aspen Institute's Que…

by Clare de Lore

Thanks to the determination of Christine Maiden, NZ has joined an international leadership network that aims to work on issues important to the future

Read more
Science must trump ideology in the GE debate
104784 2019-04-18 08:52:29Z Politics

Science must trump ideology in the GE debate

by The Listener

A New Zealand-developed super-grass that appears to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions might be blocked in this country by the Green Party.

Read more
Simon Bridges hails PM Jacinda Ardern's capital gains tax u-turn as victory
104803 2019-04-18 00:00:00Z Politics

Simon Bridges hails PM Jacinda Ardern's capital ga…

by Jo Moir

The National Party is calling the u-turn on a capital gains tax a massive failure for the Prime Minister.

Read more
John Campbell is replacing Jack Tame on TVNZ's Breakfast show
104860 2019-04-18 00:00:00Z Television

John Campbell is replacing Jack Tame on TVNZ's Bre…

by Noted

The TV network is switching things up - again.

Read more
John Lanchester’s ecological-dystopian tale about a barricaded Britain
104431 2019-04-18 00:00:00Z Books

John Lanchester’s ecological-dystopian tale about…

by Catherine Woulfe

The Wall may be speculative fiction, but it feel like it's just round the corner.

Read more