Idris Elba Just Got Ruled Out As James Bond

The hopes of fans across the world have been officially dashed now that Idris Elba is out of the running to play James Bond.

By Nathan Kamal | Published

idris elba james bond

Fans of both British actor Idris Elba and fictional spy James Bond are in for some bad news. While there has been a thriving fan movement for years for the star of The Suicide Squad to take on the role of 007, it seems that those dreams have been definitively crushed. According to the Daily Star, insiders at Eon Productions (the film company that has produced Bond films since 1961) have revealed the search for the next actor to play the most iconic cinematic spy in history has some very specific provisions. For one, the actor must be “fresh-faced” and under 40 years old. For another, the actor has to be over 5’ 10” tall. Unfortunately, this means Idris Elba is out of the running to play James Bond, unless they suddenly change up those requirements.

Idris Elba is reportedly 6’2” tall, which means that he qualifies for that particular James Bond requirement. While the height of actors is always a little difficult to judge (what with camera trickery, apple boxes, and actors perhaps not being okay with their diminutive size being publicized), it apparently disqualifies Taron Egerton, Kit Harington, and John Boyega. All three actors have been high in the polls to play the British super-agent; there is actually something of a cottage industry in the world of gambling as to who might next play the role, with constantly changing odds on actors like Henry Cavill and Tom Hiddleston. 

However, Idris Elba is currently 42 years old, which means that he has officially aged out of portraying James Bond according to these reports. It also disqualifies Tom Hardy and Henry Cavill, and presumably means that many of the long-standing potential Bonds are also out of the running. 

It was not all that long ago that Barbara Broccoli, one of the longtime key figures at Eon Productions, said that Idris Elba was “in the conversation” about the next James Bond. It seems that things have changed, in large part because Eon Productions is looking for an actor that will be able to star in at least three films as 007. The most recent Bond actor, Daniel Craig, was 38 when he first starred in Casino Royale and 53 years old in No Time to Die. Presumably, Eon Productions is working with the same playbook it used when it replaced the 58 years old Roger Moore with the comparatively young at 42 Pierce Brosnan (who was supposed to play the role years earlier but was prevented by prior contracts).

The casting of James Bond is always a tricky and controversial thing, with fans having beefs as varied as Daniel Craig’s blonde hair to Roger Moore’s weight to George Lazenby not being named “Sean Connery.” In many ways, Idris Elba might consider himself lucky to no longer be in the running to play James Bond, with all the expectations and career baggage that it brings. It may disappoint the contingent of fans that have been supporting him for years, but there will surely be a new James Bond along soon enough.