Idris Elba Gives The Middle Finger To James Bond

Idris Elba's Luther: The Fallen Sun has a tongue-in-cheek moment in which he turns down James Bond's signature beverage.

By Robert Scucci | Updated

idris elba james bond

Is there anything more satisfying than giving somebody the middle finger? Idris Elba thinks so, but he’s a man of taste and sophistication, so his “middle finger” to James Bond was a little bit more subversive according to a recent Deadline article. The Pacific Rim star actually didn’t flip the bird in the traditional sense at all, but rather has a tongue-in-cheek moment in Luther: The Fallen Sun when he turns down Bond’s drink of choice, a martini.

So how did this come about, and why are Neil Cross and Idris Elba throwing shade at James Bond? Cross states that the scene in question is just an “extended middle finger and a wink” because he believes that John Luther is a better character. If you’re one of those who want to live and let live, you’ll be comforted to know that there is no real animosity or hatred that inspired this scene, and it is just meant to be a playful jab, and who are we to get in the way of someone’s fun?

idris elba

The real backstory behind the scene comes from both Idris Elba and Neil Cross addressing fan speculation that Idris Elba is using his John Luther character as a stepping stone to ultimately become Daniel Craig’s replacement in the world of James Bond. When pressed on this matter, Elba said that he’s been turning down the James Bond role for years, stating that he feels neither character is better than the other.

The simple fact of the matter is that while Luther and Bond occupy similar territories thematically speaking, Elba prefers Luther’s more direct approach to capturing villains over Bond’s approach which is more deeply rooted in deception and espionage.

Idris Elba goes on to say that he wasn’t sure about the nod to James Bond, and he even asked Cross if they should even poke the bear to begin with. But at the end of the day, it’s all in good fun, and we’d be lying if we said we weren’t here to witness a friendly feud between secret agents and their creators. And when we’re talking about British spy sagas, turning down a martini is so much more effective, and funny, than simply giving the one-finger salute to your contemporaries.

Although there are some obvious parallels between Idris Elba’s portrayal of John Luther and James Bond himself, it’s more in the form of parallel thought than straight-up copying the property. Simply put, both properties involve spies doing spy things, but the similarities kind of end there. Luther occupies a world that’s a little darker and a lot more direct than what we’re used to when agent 007 is taking the reins.

Luther: The Fallen Sun came out in the UK on February 24, 2023, and will be available for streaming on Netflix on March 10. Idris Elba’s portrayal of John Luther doesn’t start off like a typical James Bond plot, as Luther finds himself behind bars, ready to break out of prison to capture a serial killer who is terrorizing London. The now disgraced spy will use any means necessary to bring the killer to justice, and he’s going to do it with brute force and intuition (and a subtle, yet effective middle finger) rather than a series of absurd gadgets like James Bond.