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Idris Elba says racist comments turned him off the idea of playing James Bond

Poppy Bilderbeck

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Idris Elba says racist comments turned him off the idea of playing James Bond

Featured Image Credit: Alamy Stock Photo/ AFF/ Netflix

Idris Elba has opened up about why he's been put off being the next 007.

After Daniel Craig stepped down from the franchise - performing as James Bond for the final time in No Time To Die - rumours have continued to swirl around who could fill his shoes.

Luther's Idris Elba was a firm favourite amongst fans and head of Eon Productions - the UK-based production company that makes the Bond films. Barbara Broccoli even said the 50-year-old was 'part of the conversation' in who should replace Craig.

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However, whether Elba would even want to take on the role is another matter entirely.

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The actor has since spoken out about the racist comments he faced from some people in response to rumours of him becoming the next top MI6 agent.

While in conversation with fellow actors Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes and Will Arnett on the SmartLess podcast, Elba noted he is 'super complimented' by the enthusiasm for him to take over as 007.

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He said: "I was like, 'This is crazy!' James Bond…We’re all actors and we understand that role. It’s one of those coveted [roles].

"Being asked to be James Bond was like, 'Ok, you’ve sort of reached the pinnacle'. That’s one of those things the whole world has a vote in."

However, the idea of him becoming the next Bond was tainted by other comments which surfaced online.

Idris Elba was a firm fan-favourite to be the next actor to take on the role after Daniel Craig. Credit: Netflix
Idris Elba was a firm fan-favourite to be the next actor to take on the role after Daniel Craig. Credit: Netflix
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Elba explained how much of a 'huge compliment' it was to receive backing to be the next Bond from 'every corner of the world,' but the 50-year-old also noted 'some corners' weren't as happy.

"Those that weren’t happy about the idea made the whole thing disgusting and off-putting, because it became about

race," he continued. "It became about nonsense and I got the brunt of it."

People have been left outraged and disappointed by the racism Elba has faced putting him off playing 007.

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One Twitter user said: "A real shame that this essentially gets chalked up to a W for racists and an L for fans of a good actor."

Who do you think will be next to take on the iconic role? Credit: Universal Pictures
Who do you think will be next to take on the iconic role? Credit: Universal Pictures

It's not the first time Elba has shut down the rumours of him being the next Bond though.

In an interview with the Guardian earlier this year in March, he said: "I love the Bond franchise, I’m very close to the producers. We were all kind of laughing about the rumours because they are just that."

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In an interview with Men's Health in 2022, the actor also noted playing the role is ultimately 'not a goal' for his career.

While you won't be seeing Elba as Bond anytime soon, you can catch him playing the role of disgraced detective John Luther in thriller Luther: The Fallen Sun.

If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org

Topics: Film & TV, Idris Elba, Celebrity, James Bond, Film and TV, Social Media, Racism

Poppy Bilderbeck
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