Idris Elba Doesn’t Want To Play James Bond?

Idris Elba explains that he isn't interested in playing James Bond.

By Joshua Jones | Published

After the release of No Time To Die, longtime fans of 007 James Bond have wondered who will step up and assume the iconic role. Fans have been naming numerous British actors online, including Henry Cavill, Richard Madden, Tom Hardy, and more. The release of No Time To Die marked the end of the Daniel Craig era, which began back in 2006 with Casino Royale. Now, fans are looking at who will be the face of the new era of 007. One name that has been on everyone’s wish list is Idris Elba. Producers of the franchise recently revealed that Elba was once in mind to take over the iconic role. Although fans have wished for Elba to become the new 007, the actor himself seemingly has already turned the role down. During a recent appearance on Lebron James’ The Shop podcast (via Deadline), Elba spoke about why playing James Bond wouldn’t satisfy his goals as an actor.

“I’m not gonna lie, every corner of the world I go — and I’m talking about different cultures — they always go: ‘Bond!’ It is not a goal for my career. I don’t think that, you know, playing Bond will satisfy some of my personal goals.”

Idris Elba went on to say that he doesn’t know much about the James Bond role. He stated people who discuss him potentially assuming the role are just feeding into the speculation and rumors. While he does tease the idea of joining the franchise now and then, Elba admits that he really doesn’t want to talk about it and would often explain to people why he wouldn’t be an excellent fit for it. Elba just starred in Universal Pictures’ Beast, which grossed $48.2 million worldwide and received mainly mixed reviews from critics. The last major franchise Elba featured in was Marvel’s Thor. Elba briefly reprised his role as Heimdall in the post-credit scene of Thor: Love & Thunder. There’s no word whether his brief cameo serves as a final goodbye for his character or was a hint of him returning to more projects for the studio down the line. Elba also recently voiced the character Knuckles in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for Paramount Pictures.

sonic the hedgehog 2
Knuckles in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2022)

Although Idris Elba appears to be out of the running, there are still plenty of actors who could take over the role of James Bond. As mentioned earlier, Henry Cavill is someone who’s been rumored to join the franchise potentially. Ironically, Cavill came close to landing the role in 2005. The producers and director Martin Campbell were torn between him and Daniel Craig. Ultimately, the producers went with Craig, and Cavill went on to land the role of Superman for Warner Bros. Cavill played a charismatic spy in 2015’s The Man from U.N.C.L.E., so he already has a lot of experience in the spy genre. Additionally, while many fans want to see him return as Superman, there has been no indication of him returning for any future DC projects, which means his schedule is pretty much open. Cavill’s only other projects coming down the pipeline are Netflix’s The Witcher and director Matthew Vaughn’s Argylle, which sees Cavill again stepping into the spy genre.

Bond producer Barbara Broccoli stated in an interview that there’s yet to be a frontrunner for the 007 role. While Idris Elba’s name may’ve been on the top of most fans’ lists, it seems he wants everyone to know that he’s uninterested. As for who will end up being Bond, only time will tell.