Idris Elba Has Taken Himself Out Of The James Bond Running, But He's Still Tom Hanks' Pick

Idris Elba in Luther: The Fallen Sun and Tom Hanks in A Man Called Otto, pictured side by side.
(Image credit: Netflix/Sony Pictures Entertainment)

We’re still in the midst of waiting to find out which actor will be the next face of the James Bond movies, with the race leading to next year’s intended production of Bond 26. Longtime favorite Idris Elba took himself out of the running for the role earlier this year, basically ending most people’s hopes of seeing him cast. However, that’s not enough for actor/author Tom Hanks to reconsider his pick for 007, as he’s just come out in support of the Luther star.

As he spoke with BBC about his debut novel, The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece, America’s Dad discussed changes in literature from the past. That very subject has seen a lot of discussion thanks to the newly edited editions of Ian Fleming’s 007 adventures, which in turn leapt into who Hanks thinks should be the next James Bond. Here’s how the star of A Man Called Otto lent his support to Idris Elba as a result:

Understand this. James Bond has a licence to kill. I would issue that licence to Idris Elba just based on the work that I've seen him do.

No one should be holding their breath for an Idris Elba outing in this storied franchise, and frankly, the Luther actor is better off without James Bond. Yet Tom Hanks is a voice that people tend to listen to whenever he speaks. So to have him deliver such a passionate case for Elba’s 007 candidacy is a pretty strong vote that could even get the most skeptical James Bond fans to reconsider.

And yet, the one person that would truly need convincing probably won't budge after this statement. Idris Elba firmly killed his 007 chances by noting that he wasn't "going to be that guy." That guy, of course, being the tuxedoed super spy that Ian Fleming first published 70 years ago, and has since seen 25 movies released over 60 years. Elba has doubled down on his commitment to the Luther saga, and it's admirable to see. 

As we move closer to the plans that will reinvent Commander Bond for his next era, it’ll be interesting to see how this endorsement might change the Bond betting odds. Not to mention, it’d be exciting to hear how Idris Elba feels about Hanks and any other supporters still hoping against hope for his casting. But still, we're not holding our breath for a last minute reversal that'll indicate a 00-Elba any time soon.

If you want to see Tom Hanks’ latest stealth blockbuster, you can catch A Man Called Otto on streaming. So long as you’re someone with a Netflix subscription, you’ll be able to catch this recent hit for yourself very conveniently. And if you’re also an Idris Elba fan, that same platform offers his most recent film, Luther: The Fallen Sun, as well. 

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.