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Some fans have been campaigning for Idris Elba to play the next James Bond since before Daniel Craig retired from the role. And even after Craig’s retirement, speculation about his James Bond involvement continued. Elba, who’s been addressing this gossip for years now, once blamed Craig himself for spreading these rumors.

Idris Elba believed ‘Luther’ was his answer to James Bond

Idris Elba on stage wearing black clothes.
Idris Elba | Jeff Spicer/BFC/Getty Images

Fans haven’t seen Idris Elba fill in 007’s shoes yet. But Elba revealed that he already played a character that could potentially match Bond’s level of recognition and quality. For over a decade now, Elba has been playing detective John Luther in BBC’s hit series Luther. Recently, a movie based on the character was released on Netflix to critical acclaim.

In an interview with Collider, Elba teased his excitement for the film at the time. He also briefly discussed how he felt Luther could perhaps be in the same discussion as James Bond one day.

“We have an incredible appetite to satisfy the audience that loved Luther in its current form, but also bring it into a new sphere with the film version,” Elba said. “I don’t want to be controversial, but people imagine me as Bond and that’s great. But I can’t wait for them to see me as Luther in this movie. Our ambition is to take it there.”

Why Idris Elba blamed Daniel Craig for persistent James Bond rumors

There are times when Elba got a bit tired of the constant talks about him playing the next James Bond. In an interview with Business Insider, the topic was approached again.

“Are people still talking about that?” Elba asked.

When asked if Elba got a kick out of the rumors or if he was over them, he seemed to lean towards the latter.

“No, I don’t get a kick out of it,” he answered.

While talking to London’s British Film Institute, The Suicide Squad star felt that the persistent rumors might have squandered his Bond chances.

“Honestly, it’s a rumor that’s really starting to eat itself,” he said according to Hollywood Reporter. “If there was ever any chance of me getting Bond, it’s gone.”

He also cited James Bond himself, Daniel Craig, as the catalyst of these rumors.

“Daniel Craig actually set the rumor off,” he quipped. “About four years ago he said Idris Elba would be a great Bond and then it started to creep. I blame Daniel.”

Idris Elba finds it disheartening when he’s told he can’t be James Bond for this reason


How Idris Elba Discovered His Child Wasn’t His: ‘Was Like Taking a Full-On Punch in The Face’

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Elba revealed that he’d play Bond if he was asked to. But it isn’t a role he actively lobbied for.

“Of course, if someone said to me ‘Do you want to play James Bond?’ I’d be like, Yeah! That’s fascinating to me. But it’s not something I’ve expressed, like, Yeah, I wanna be the black James Bond,” Elba said.

However, Elba also revealed that he felt bothered by people’s claiming there couldn’t be a black Bond.

“You just get disheartened,” he said. “When you get people from a generational point of view going, ‘It can’t be.’ And it really turns out to be the color of my skin. And then if I get it and it didn’t work, or it did work, would it be because of the color of my skin? That’s a difficult position to put myself into when I don’t need to.”