Idris Elba in renewed talks to play James Bond
Idris Elba is back in the running to play James Bond.
The 'Luther' actor was believed to have stepped back from replacing Daniel Craig as the suave spy and had instead spoken to producers about potentially appearing as the villain in the next movie, but he's once again under consideration for the role of 007 after scoring favourably in market research.
A source told The Sun newspaper's Bizarre column: “Idris has long been in talks to play a role in the next era of James Bond’s story and last year was being considered for a role as an antagonist.
“However, talks surrounding him playing the lead have started again as producers realised how popular he would be after carrying out secret market research.
“He ranked highly among the diverse group of movie buffs invited to participate in it.
“They didn’t want to see him as a nemesis — they want him as the hero.”
Bond producer Barbara Broccoli confirmed earlier this year that Idris had been in the frame for the iconic role.
She said: “We know Idris, I’m friends with him. He’s a magnificent actor.
You know, he has been part of the conversation, but it’s always difficult to have a conversation when you have somebody in the seat.”
And in 2019, the 49-year-old actor admitted he'd love to be Bond.
He said: “James Bond is a hugely coveted, iconic, beloved character that takes audiences on this massive escapism journey.
“Of course, if someone said to me, ‘Do you want to play James Bond?’, I’d be like, ‘Yeah!’ ”
At the moment, former 'Bridgerton' actor Rege-Jean Page is still the bookies' favourite to be the new James Bond, with Henry Cavill, Aidan Turner and Tom Hardy all believed to also be in with a chance.