Idris Elba was a favorite to be the next James Bond actor, but he has reportedly pulled out of the running. The upcoming 26th Bond film will be the first without Daniel Craig, who played Bond five times and met an explosive end in No Time To Die last year.
Elba reportedly suggested other actors play Bond during conversations with producer Barbara Broccolli, The Sun reports. “Fans and Barbara wanted Idris but he wants to create something for himself,” a source told the outlet. “However, he’s put forward names to play 007. He’s ‘informally’ in the decision-making process as he’s been in talks with producers for so long.”
During a January interview with Deadline, Broccoli praised Elba, who has long been considered one of the finest actors of his generation. “We know Idris, I’m friends with him,” Broccoli said. “He’s a magnificent actor.” She later added that Elba was “part of the conversation, but it’s always difficult to have a conversation when you have somebody in the seat” before No Time To Die ended Craig’s run.
Elba is 49 years old and would be a great Bond if the producers decide to go with someone older. Craig was 38 when Casino Royale came out in 2006, and Pierce Brosnan was 43 when GoldenEye came out in 1995. Timothy Dalton was 41 when The Living Daylights hit theaters in 1987. Henry Cavill, 39, and Rege-Jean Page, 34, are both good candidates to become the new Bond.
In September 2021, Broccoli told BBC Radio 4 they will not have serious discussions about Craig’s replacement until this year. “We’re not thinking about it at all. We want Daniel to have his time of celebration. Next year we’ll start thinking about the future,” she said at the time.
This week, MGM confirmed that the 26th movie in the Bond series will continue to be distributed by Universal Pictures International. The movie was cut from a new distribution agreement MGM announced with Warner Bros. on Sunday. This deal will start next year.
No Time to Die became the third consecutive Bond film to win an Oscar for Best Original Song. The movie was also nominated for Best Visual Effects and Best Sound. In the end, it grossed $774.2 million worldwide, proving that Broccoli and Wilson were correct in delaying the film’s theatrical release multiple times because of the coronavirus pandemic.
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