Idris Elba has just turned down one of Hollywood’s biggest roles, but he’s hardly the first celeb to step down from a potentially career-defining role. When an actor turns down a role, they will usually cite a conflict of dates or a creative difference — two of the common tropes that come with an actor’s toolbox to avoid guilt. Will Smith turned down the role of Django in Quinten Tarantino’s revenge thriller Django Unchained because he felt the role wasn’t big enough, and Anne Hathaway dropped Judd Apatow’s hit 2007 comedy Knocked Up out because Hathaway thought the birth scene was a bit much.
But seldom does an actor pass up a chance to helm one of Hollywood’s most famous and enduring franchises, one that would guarantee millions of fans worldwide and job security for years to come. That’s what Elba just did, after years of talking to play the role, and it left us both shocked and touched.
Idris Elba won’t be the next James Bond
Say it’s not like that! Idris Elba has retired from the running to play the title character in the James Bond franchise, at least that’s what sources familiar with the matter tell The Sun. Idris, who’s long been “part of the conversation” when it comes to the next generation of the “Bond” franchise, according to People, reportedly wants to “create something for himself” instead. Fans are not taking the news well and many have taken to social media to vent their frustration. “What a shame. The role needs someone like Idris who can do the pain but smolders [sic] eye movement”, wrote one user. Other proclaimed“Not fair. He would make an excellent Bond!”
If it’s any consolation, The Sun also reported that Elba is advising “Bond” producer Barbara Broccoli on the future of the franchise. “He suggested names to play 007,” the source claimed, noting that the “Luther” star was “informally” part of the decision-making process given his years of discussions with producers about taking on the role. After it was announced that Elba would pass on the role, “Bond” fans flooded social media to express their support for Henry Cavill, an actor whose name inevitably crops up whenever the future of the franchise is discussed. Cavill told GQ Britain in 2020 that he would “absolutely jump at the opportunity” to play the globe-spanning agent. “Lets see what happens.”