Idris Elba 'Too Street' to Play James Bond, Says 007 Author


For months, the Internet’s been shaking and stirring over the possibility of Idris Elba becoming the first black James Bond on film.

But the author who’s taken over the 007 book series for the late Ian Fleming doesn’t see it.

“For me, Idris Elba is a bit too rough to play the part,” Anthony Horowitz, whose upcoming “Trigger Mortis” is the next Bond book, tells the Daily Mail. It’s not a color issue. I think he is probably a bit too ‘street’ for Bond. Is it a question of being suave? Yeah.”

With Daniel Craig suggesting he may hang up his Walther PPK soon, social media has been buzzing over Elba as a successor, the speculation reaching a peak last December with the release of a hacked Sony email from then-studio co-chair Amy Pascal to a Columbia Pictures exec saying, “Idris should be the next bond.” Columbia distributes the Bond movies.

Radio host Rush Limbaugh intensified the debate by suggesting that “The Wire” star, as a black actor, couldn’t play the role.

“James Bond is a total concept put together by Ian Fleming. He was white and Scottish. Period. That is who James Bond is, was,” Limbaugh said in December. “But now [they are] suggesting that the next James Bond should be Idris Elba, a black Briton, rather than a white from Scotland. But that’s not who James Bond is.”

Horowitz says that his opposition to Elba, however, has nothing to do with race. “Idris Elba is a terrific actor, but I can think of other black actors who would do it better,” he says, suggesting Adrian Lester, star of the British TV drama “Hustle.”

His comments generated outrage, prompting Horowitz to issue an apology on Twitter.

Actually, there already is a black actor playing James Bond — or least lending his voice. “Selma” star David Oyelowo has been tapped to play the dapper secret agent in an audiobook.

And Elba, himself, seems tired of the matter, poking fun at the debate with this tweet: