Why Idris Elba Will Not Be the Next Bond

Just remember, while everyone out there is clamoring on about Idris Elba as the next James Bond, you heard it here first: not gonna happen. It’s nothing against the man himself or his skill as a performer, mind you, since he’s perfectly capable and would, no doubt, be a fine candidate for the role. Practically, however, there really isn’t any reason to suppose that he will, in fact, be chosen as Daniel Craig’s successor. Let me explain.

1. He’s Too Old

One of the recurring themes in Skyfall was Bond’s age, which, while certainly symbolic of MI6 as a rusty and archaic organization more suited to Cold-War era espionage, was a significant factor in 007’s performance as an agent and in the eyes of his superiors. Though it is true that an actor’s age is not necessarily the same as his character’s, it has to be pointed out that Craig was only 43-44 when this was filmed and is currently 46 with probably another 2 or 3 years under his belt. Right now Idris is 42 and wouldn’t likely take over for at least another 4 years, meaning that he’ll be starting his tenure at 46, giving him and the producers a rather limited time frame in which to film the movies. And let’s not forget the body. Ever since we’ve been exposed to Mr. Craig’s chiseled physique and frame fit for a soldier, it’s hard to imagine a secret agent looking any differently; and from what I’m told, the closer one gets to 50, the harder it is to maintain such an athletic image.

2. A Black Bond Wouldn’t Fly in Asian Markets

I know. I know. It sounds incredibly racist, but don’t blame me. I’m just the messenger. For quite some time it has been well-known, and observed most recently via the Sony hacks, that black actors just don’t fare very well overseas; and with John Cleese’s lament that 007’s campy British humor has been toned down so as to accommodate eastern audiences, it becomes evident that there is a real possibility that the executives are trying to make the franchise more popular worldwide and increase viewership, particularly in countries such as Vietnam, the Philippines, Japan, etc. So, as horrible as it sounds, choosing an actor like Mr. Elba would not likely be a very wise business move if the goal is to expand the fan base globally. Here’s an idea, though: why not recruit a South Asian actor? Not only is there an enormous Indian/Pakistani population in England, making it believable that MI6 would have individuals from that background on board, but the turmoil in South and West Asia makes it an ideal location for Bond stories to take place and an ideal location for a Bond with such a heritage to fit in.

3. They’ve Already Chosen the Next Actor

Okay, this isn’t entirely true; but the only reason Henry Cavill was turned down back in 2004 is because, at the time, he was far too young — a youthful 23. Admittedly I can’t say if the producers and the Broccoli family still want him to play the role, but we do know that he still wants to play it, so at this point I see no reason to assume that this won’t happen. It’s an assumption, for sure; but I think it’s a fair one, and I suspect Superman will be wearing a tux ca. 2019.

Maybe I’m getting ahead of things, though. We still have two more movies with Daniel, so why not just sit back and enjoy the ride?

Elementary, my dear . . . who are you again?

I’ve never read any Holmes literature outside of Doyle’s original stories and, in fact, never read the final book or the much later collections in the series (no one really denies that the first two volumes and The Hound of the Baskervilles represents the pinnacle of the sleuth’s career anyway, so I haven’t missed the most important elements) ; but I have been rather fond of the character for quite some time and I find myself somewhat pleased to see this film in development. Cullin’s novel is foreign to me, but the whole concept seems to be an interesting one; and though the thought of a mentally-impaired Holmes is almost painful, I would love to watch the master in his golden years, even if they’re not so golden.