Film Forward

A Lot Of People Want Idris Elba To Play James Bond, But He Has Another Idea

"Do something different with it."

The ways we watch TV and movies have evolved, and it's time for the talent in front of and behind the camera to do the same. Film Forward speaks on the initiatives to diversify the film industry and the stories it tells. New articles premiere every second Thursday of — and throughout — the month.

For several years now, Idris Elba has been a popular name in conversations around who should play the iconic character James Bond after Daniel Craig retires from the role. Many think it's time for the franchise to add some diversity to its ever-changing line of stars.

Elba agrees with that sentiment, but rather than picturing himself in the part, the English actor has another idea. During a recent interview with Variety at the Sundance Film Festival, Elba responded to the familiar question with the suggestion that perhaps someone other than a man could take on the role.

"Are we interested in having a Bond character other than being a male? It could be a woman," he said. "Could be a Black woman, could be a White woman. I think that character, everybody would like to see it have — do something different with it. Why not?"

Elba has previously shut down rumors about him taking the role, recently explaining to the Independent, "It's interesting that the James Bond thing continues to go. I think it's more about, we just want to have a black guy play James Bond rather than Idris Elba the actor play James Bond. That's the part that I'm like, 'Ugh, come on.' "

While some fans still think the actor would be perfect for the role of cinema's most famous spy, others applaud his suggestion that a woman inhabit the part. One Twitter user even suggested Elba could join the franchise as the first "Bond boy," the male counterpart for the series' famous "Bond girls."

He certainly isn't the first person to pose the idea of a female Bond. In 2016, Gillian Anderson tweeted a fan-made poster imagining what she might look like in the role, and called herself "Jane Bond." Unsurprisingly, plenty of fans supported the idea. The same year, actress Priyanka Chopra responded to a comment saying she would make a great Bond girl by saying, "I get that all the time. But fuck that — I wanna be Bond."

Elba also isn't the first male star to put ladies in the running. Chris Hemsworth has suggested that Atomic Blonde star Charlize Theron would be perfect for the role, explaining, "She embodies every ounce of strength and nobility and dignity and integrity that that character should have."

Still, other fans resist the idea that the franchise should change, with some arguing that they'd rather see original roles written for female and non-White actors, rather than inserting them into a decades-old part. 

Considering Jodie Whittaker just became the first-ever woman to inhabit the title role in Doctor Who, we wouldn't rule Jane Bond out just yet. Until then, Daniel Craig is returning to the role in a new film, the 25th in the series, set to be released in 2019.

(H/T: Vanity Fair)

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