New James Bond Author: Idris Elba Too 'Street' for the Part

Reaction was swift, unhappy
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2015 10:59 AM CDT
New James Bond Author: Idris Elba Too 'Street' for the Part
British actor Idris Elba poses for photographers during the MIPTV, International Television Programme Market, Tuesday, April 14, 2015, in Cannes, southern France.   (AP Photo/str)

There have been many calls for a black James Bond, and for a while, there were even rumors Idris Elba would take on the 007 role. (Rumors Elba himself shot down earlier this year.) But at least one prominent person in the Bond universe doesn't think that's a good idea. Anthony Horowitz, author of the new Bond novel Trigger Mortis—officially commissioned by Ian Fleming's estate—says in an extensive interview with the Daily Mail, "For me, Idris Elba is a bit too rough to play the part. 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." He adds that there are "other black actors who would do it better," like Adrian Lester.

Sample reaction:

  • "Apparently, there’s no way for Elba, an actor whose literal job it is to assume characters’ personalities that are not his own, to appear 'suave' enough to play Bond." Dan Van Winkle, The Mary Sue
  • "Hold on, WHAT?!" USA Today headline
  • On Vulture, Dee Lockett calls Horowitz's reasoning "casually racist," noting, "Horowitz doesn't mind if a black man plays Bond, so long as he's the 'right' kind of black."
  • The Telegraph rounds up a number of outraged Twitter reactions, including this: "Are you kidding me? HAVE YOU SEEN THAT MAN IN A SUIT? HAVE YOU SEEN THAT MAN?"
The world is, however, kind of already getting its first black Bond. (More Idris Elba stories.)

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