James Bond author: Idris Elba is ‘too street’ & not ‘suave’ enough to play Bond


In the political age of Donald Trump, many people aren’t even bothering with dog-whistle code words anymore. “The Silent Majority” = white Southerners pissed off about black people. “Low-information voters” = stupid people. “Barack Obama is the welfare president” = he’s black and he’s giving your money to his black friends. As I said, some people aren’t even bothering with those kinds of dog-whistles anymore, but it is notable when people do use those kinds of magic words to express their terrible opinions. Take Anthony Horowitz, the author who has taken over the James Bond franchise (Bond books have been written by several different authors in the past few decades). Horowitz, you see, does not agree with the rest of the world. He does not believe that Idris Elba would make a good James Bond because, in Horowitz’s wording, Idris is “too street.” Yes, Kansas, we have a code word.

The bookmakers’ favorite to step into Daniel Craig’s blood-splattered shoes as the next James Bond isn’t suave enough for the role, according to the author of the next 007 novel. Anthony Horowitz, whose James Bond title Trigger Mortis hits bookshelves Sept.8, has waded into the debate over whether Idris Elba should be the next actor to get a license to kill. Horowitz doesn’t think so. In an interview with British tabloid The Daily Mail, the author said he thought Elba was “a bit too rough” to play the part, although he asserted that it wasn’t “a color issue.”

“I think he is probably a bit too street for Bond,” he said. “Is it a question of being suave? Yeah.”

Horowitz also laid into Skyfall, the last 007 film (from director Sam Mendes) and the most successful to date, which he branded his “least favorite” and the one Bond title he never liked.

“Bond is weak in it. He has doubts. That’s not Bond,” Horowitz said. “Secondly, the villain wins. The villain sets out to kill M. The film finishes with the villain killing M. So why have I watched it?”

He also criticized the premise of the film’s final explosive chapter, in which Bond takes Judi Dench’s spymaster to his ancestral home in order to keep her safe.

“If you have to protect the head of MI6 from a madman, do you take her to a Scottish farmhouse with no weapons? And tell your bad guy where you are, so he will arrive with six people to kill her? It’s that sort of thing that made me angry.”

[From THR]

First, on his criticism of Skyfall – I genuinely enjoyed Skyfall because it felt like a real Bond film, although I agree with him that the end was terrible. They were looking for a way to write Judi Dench out of the franchise and they chose a terrible way. As for his criticisms of Idris Elba… TOO STREET? Not suave enough? Um, has this guy seen Idris? Like, has he watched one movie with Idris? Idris can be suave, he can be cultured, he can be flirty, he can be whatever you need him to be. As Jezebel pointed out, journalist/author Ta-Nehisi Coates tweeted some brilliance about this:

Interestingly enough, Horowitz realized the error of his ways on Tuesday, shortly after the comments were published. He tweeted out this apology: “I’m really sorry my comments about Idris Elba have caused offence. That wasn’t my intention. I was asked in my interview if Idris Elba would make a good James bond. In the article I expressed the opinion that to my mind Adrian Lester would be a better choice, but I’m a writer not a casting director, so what do I know? Clumsily, I chose the word ‘street’ as Elba’s gritty portrayal of DCI John Luther was in my mind, but I admit it was a poor choice of word. I am mortified to have caused offence.” What do you think of his apology? Meh.


Photos courtesy of WENN.

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141 Responses to “James Bond author: Idris Elba is ‘too street’ & not ‘suave’ enough to play Bond”

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  1. Oher says:

    Code words alert!

    • Kandes says:

      To be fair, in the original interview he suggested a more upper class black British actor for Bond.

      • t.fanty says:

        And to be fair, Adrian Lester is a great suggestion. He just isn’t as cool as Idris, and that is a valid point.

      • Pri says:

        I think Chiwetel Ejiofor would be a better Bond. Ben Barnes would be a good Bond too if they are casting younger. That being said, I could see Idris in a Bourne type role.

      • arbelia says:

        Yep, i think in many articles, blogs etc… that relayed the info yesterday, it wasn’t mentionned . He just said that he found another black british actor was more fitting. So it’s just that he has a problem with Elba in the role,not necessarrily with a black Bond.

      • Franca says:

        Yeah, he did suggest another black actor. Maybe “street” was code for something else? Maybe he discriminates based on class, not race?

        I don’t know, I’m not a native speaker, all these words are new to me.
        The Bond movies are stupid anyway.

      • snowflake says:

        Glad you mentioned that, I didn’t know that. Guess this is one of those cases where something taken out of context can come across as something totally different

      • Kitten says:

        Yup. See this is the problem with social media and the need to take one quote, out of context, just to garner outrage. Because outrageous comments generates followers and fires people up. I honestly don’t think anyone even cares about the whole truth anymore, and it’s sad.

        Like others, I think his comment screamed of classism more than anything else.

        That being said, I think Idris would make a FANTASTIC Bond.

      • Tina says:

        Pri, I’m with you. I love Idris Elba but he’s too old for Bond. Chiwetel Ejiofor or David Oyelowo (or, dare we say, Adrian Lester) would be better choices.

      • funcakes says:

        Wow! It almost sounds as if the media manipulated someone’s words to get mileage out of a nothing story. No, they would never do that.

      • tealily says:

        I think that it IS a comment on class, but I’m not really sure if this is “classism.” The character is upper class. Not that Elba can’t successfully put on a posh accent, but when I think of him, I think of Luther… who is brash, confrontational, gritty, and very un-Bond. While he is himself a very suave man, the character is not especially suave; he has a temper and is something of a loose cannon. I have no doubt Elba would make a fantastic Bond, but I do think the comments were taken out of context.

      • t.fanty says:

        It is a class issue, and Idris trades on being an East End boy. It helps his brand and his DJ-ing.

        That said, anyone who has read the Bond books, knows that the original Bond was rough around the edges; hence the Daniel Craig casting for Casino Royale. Race aside, the class debate is integral to how one sees Bond – as a product of Fleming’s books, or Connery’s movies.

    • Imo says:

      That’s not exactly what I would call fair.

    • Yeah I took it as ‘too Cockney’ rather than ‘too black’ especially since he did offer up a ‘posh’ black actor he would rather see in the role.

    • Leah says:

      @franca yes i think its about class. Adrian Lester is the posh version of a black british actor. But he is also less sexy and somewhat beige compared to Idris. I really don’t think he would make a better Bond. He totally lacks Idris sexual charisma. As does Oyelowo in my opinion.. Those actors have very little danger or conflict in them. They project nice guys to me. Ejiofor i think is a more versatile actor but i don’t want him to be burdened with Bond, he is too good to be known as Bond eternally.
      @Tina Lester is older than Idris actually. By a good 5 years.

      • Tina says:

        @Leah wow! Adrian Lester still looks really young. He’s got menace though, he was amazing in Othello at the National Theatre a few years ago. And I thought Oyelowo had loads of sexual charisma as Danny in Spooks. Ironically enough, Oyelowo was selected to play James Bond in the audiobook of Anthony Horowitz’s Trigger Mortis.

      • Leah says:

        I saw Othello. He was brilliant but i just find him sexy or dangerous. He just comes across as so sweet and nice in my opinion. He’s definitely leading man material but the nicer tamer sort. Same with Oyelowo. Idris just has this combination of suave and danger that makes him more suitable to me. I don’t mind that he’s 43. Bring it!!

      • Wilma says:

        Idris Elba would be the first Bond I could imagine dropping my panties for. I never got why the Bond girls were so into the various incarnations of Bond, not even Connery.

      • Franca says:

        Not even Pierce? He was the best Bond, IMO:

  2. Beth No. 2 says:

    Idris Elba not suave enough and too street to play Bond???!!

    LOL, take a seat, Anthony Horowitz.

  3. Shambles says:

    “offence.” He’s sorry that his words caused of fence.

    And not suave?!? NOT SUAVE?! That man is so Suave he could wash my hair. Is that my subtle way of saying I want him in my shower? Yes.

    • Anners says:

      Hahaha! I may have to steal that line!

      I’m still trying to understand in what world Idris Elba isn’t suave. Especially when compared to Daniel Craig

      • Absolutely says:

        Right? Daniel Craig is not even remotely suave. I don’t know why he is the current Bond. Cranky, curmudgeonly Bond more like.

    • michelleb says:

      oh my god, LOL

      That is a perfect way to put it! I’m so going to think of this now every time I see Idris.

      I completely agree too. Idris is Mr. Suave! I may watch a Bond film again if he was Bond. Actually, I would watch anything with him in it, anything, even a short video of him walking down the street in a perfectly fitted suit, because damn …

    • I Choose Me says:

      That man is so Suave he could wash my hair.

      Brilliant. Just brilliant. I am so stealing this.

      I also saw a tweet from a dude that said, ‘If Iris Elba were any smoother, he’d glide instead of walk.’

    • LadyMTL says:

      Comment of the week right here, lol. I might have to borrow some of your Suave if Idris is a gift with purchase. 😉

      In all seriousness, he would be perfect as Bond. Horowitz’ apology is dumb (the typical “sorry if I upset you, not sorry that I said it” shtick) and that’s all I have to say about that.

    • Imo says:

      Daniel used to live in his car ffs.

      • Tdub30 says:

        Well so did Idris…and his was a van, so he’s still got a leg up on Daniel 😁. And I like DC as Bond but I definitely think Idris would greatly personify the roll.

    • Nibbi says:

      Epic “suave” line ! I love you! Thanks for that !!

      AND you corrected that obnoxious spelling of “offen(s)e” ! Props!

      I’d like to add my voice to the crowd proclaiming disbelief at the idea of this guy finding Mr. Elba to be anything less than suave. One would think he’d never seen a photograph of the man, let alone a clip of him in many of his films. He first made an impression on me in Prometheus, wherein he was not only calm & collected, but The Total Hotness.

      • Lucrezia says:

        “Obnoxious spelling”? Them’s fighting words …

        Enough of this pretence! I shall organise the defence over this supposed offence! Surely you realise that as a Brit he has a licence to use the Queen’s English?


    • K says:

      Haha that is perfect you or someone should tweet that to suave shampoo and idris it’s perfection

    • Dal says:

      I laughed out loud at my desk and my cower had to ask me what was so funny.

    • kri says:

      LMAO, Shambles! but thank you for giving me a picture of Idris washing my hair…..HELL YES!

    • Alice says:

      Let me just add my appreciation for this line.

  4. I don’t buy it. Idris is an ACTOR. It’s one thing for him to say that Idris is a shitty actor. And seriously…….how is James Bond THAT different from DCI Luthor? Am I missing something, especially with the new direction that Bond has been taken i.e. a lot more gritty ??? Idris is PERFECT as Bond, I don’t even care if he’s old….plenty of women would jump on that. Why don’t they try aging up the Bond girls into their thirties and forties, PERIOD…..if they want to cast someone who is considered “too old”.

    And I didn’t like “Skyfall”. I liked the acting, but the story was just WAY too much. And not interesting. I think “Spectre” looks interesting and I’m glad to see Monica Belluci’s fine self.

    • Leah says:

      Its a class thing. Perhaps you gotta be british to understand it. I obviously disagree with him that iris can’t play bond but this is how people of a certain class in this country thinks. Its why most of the actors that get ahead are posh, your hiddlestons and cumberbatches. The powers that be in the british theatre and movie industry are more comfortable with one of their own kind. Its like this in most professions. Its not impossible for working class kids to make it but the numbers are disproportionate.

  5. Mayamae says:

    Wasn’t Daniel Craig’s portrayal purposely less suave? I don’t watch the movies, but I read about the line in which he’s asked if he wants his martini shaken not stirred, and he responds – who the f*ck cares?

    • I Choose Me says:

      Xactly. Also Skyfall was a flawed film and I agree with him about the ending but I take issue with his Bond was weak comment. ‘Cuz god forbid Bond be a flawed character. He must be this smooth, untouchable, mythical dude who can do no wrong.

    • Emma - the JP Lover says:

      @Mayamae, who wrote: “Wasn’t Daniel Craig’s portrayal purposely less suave? I don’t watch the movies, but I read about the line in which he’s asked if he wants his martini shaken not stirred, and he responds – who the f*ck cares?”

      Yes, Daniel Craig was hired for exactly that reason. At the time he was hired, the Bourne series was very popular and I was very much amused by the ‘jacket’ Bond wore through the opening set-piece of “Casino Royal.” They wanted a more gritty, hands-on Bond to compete with Bourne. You should check out some of the early interviews with Daniel Craig and see how annoyed he gets when he’s asked about the Bourne films and the ‘gritty’ similarity in the ‘new’ Bond films. 🙂

      • mayamae says:

        Daniel Craig always looks annoyed, I don’t know if I could tell the difference. I do like him though.

  6. YeahRight says:

    Too ‘street’?
    Hahaha, more like ‘eww no, can’t have this n*ggr on my screen’.
    And I absolutely HATE IT when (white guys especially) one says something hideous and then pretends that’s not what they meant and tries to turn it around and act like people are just too sensitive!
    Basically what this guy is doing >:-(

    • BNA FN says:

      I don’t believe it’s a race thing. I believe David O (he played MLK), signed up for the next Bond movie and he is black. If I’m not mistaken I believe IE had given an interview about him being a drug pusher and some other unsavory things in his background, so …. It might have given AH pause for bringing him on board.

    • Naya says:

      “Cant have this n_ on my screen”

      Nope, I’m sure he’d be happy to cast a black guy in the film. As a Bond sidekick, who we all know we are not to invest in emotionally coz *spoiler alert: he dies*. Or as a badass henchman who is really just doing the bidding of the genius villain. I almost wish people would just leave this Bond thing alone. Its clear that those in charge would never cast a non-white straight male in the role. All we are doing is guaranteeing some offensive stunt casting in the next one. The Bond girls will probably be stunning Bollywood and Chinese actresses. M will probably be played by a Morgan Freeman type (because the real one would never go near this mess), and Bond will take a shinning to some poor “inner city youth” who saved his life. Sorry, latinas and black women, there’ll be no room in this one, try next year.

      Honestly,if I was a hollywood bigshot I’d be trying to build Idris his own spy or maybe heist franchise. Theres a clear appetite for Idris kicking ass in a suit. Bond can go f_ himself.

      • Mia4S says:

        “Bond can go f_ himself”

        The last Bond movie made $1.1 BILLION. Let’s not kid ourselves, he remains the gold standard. There is a reason people are so invested in this idea.

      • Naya says:

        Sure its a lucrative franchise but I think people are invested in the idea because Idris is perfection and Bond is an iconic character whos updating would send a powerful message. I know why guys are invested, I’m just pointing out that the folks who currently run this franchise will NEVER cast anyone who isnt white and male and straight to the part. We are hearing this conveyed by pretty much anybody associated to Bond. What they will do is try to prove how not racist/homophobic they are by giving us a bunch of two dimensional side characters who are really just plot devices for our white hero.

        Bourne did fantastic as did Thomas Crowne Affair. Idris shouldnt have to wait for the next generation of Bond producers to get his, he can have his own vehicle right now. And Bond really can go f_ himself, even if they cast a black Bond that sh*t show is still a load of sexist gabbage.

    • K says:

      He did suggest other black British actors for the role of bond so he just doesn’t like idris I think it’s a class think isn’t idris cockney or something and don’t British people look down on that part of England.

      Honestly it makes no sense because Idris is perfect!! I mean my god the man is flawless, hell im pre-ordering my tickets for Star Trek because he’s in it and I hate those types of movies.

    • Know what I hate? When people twist someone else’s words without paying attention to everything they said just so they can wrap themselves in faux outrage and get to use the n-word like they’re in NWA.

  7. Astrid says:

    Idris for Bond! I could see the franchise making a fortune with this choice

  8. Hindulovegod says:

    Not suave? I looked that word up in Merriam-Webster’s and there was just a photo of Idris Elba.

  9. Izzy says:

    STFU Horowitz.

  10. Ninks says:

    I have to laugh when people try to cover their racism with stupid excuses like not English enough or not suave enough. Like, Pierce Brosnan is from Navan. Navan! You’re neither suave or English if you’re from Navan and yet he managed to pull of being both English and Suave in the bond films because he’s a fucking actor.

    • Zapp Brannigan says:

      “You’re neither suave or English if you’re from Navan” As someone currently living in Westmeath this is bang on!

      Oh and Idris needs to be in everything and by everything I mean my bed.

    • MrsB says:

      He suggested another black actor he would like to see in the role, it was poor wording of course. But, it was also taken out of context.

    • Jayna says:

      How is it racism when he suggested the great Adrian Lester for the part as his preference over Idris in his original full remarks, which seems to be left out when some are repeating what he said? Adrian Lester is black and a respected actor also.


      • Sawhatwhen says:

        He suggested another Black actor to cover his racist sentiment. He knew people would come at him for “street”. So he yanked a black Brit out of the clouds and thought “yeah that ought to do it”. The usual deflection. I am not racist cos I know the name of another black actor. Bait and switch racist discourse very common in Europe.

      • Ninks says:

        I think the term ‘street’ has racist connotations in this context.

      • Outstandingworldcitizen says:

        Thank you, thank you Sawhatwhen! Had Adrian Lester been a thought to begin with, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. Complete CYA.

  11. Miss Gloss says:

    Too bad he can’t see past his own racism to recognize how perfect Edris Elba would be as the new Bond. I think that move alone would be a really great way to breathe life back into a stale franchise.

  12. ncboudicca says:

    Wow, I always thought Sean Connery was rough and “street”, and he made a great Bond.

    • Tara says:

      I was thinking the same thing about Connery but was afraid of being schooled. I think he was smooth in a way but definitely rougher around the edges than Moore and Brosnan

  13. NewWester says:

    Idris like any decent actor will play a role which is required of him in a movie. If that is a sauve, cultured character or a gritty, character with a dangerous edge. That is the whole point of being an actor. To portray a role.
    Now if the ” too street” remark was a comment on Idris being black then this Horowitz guy has just put both feet in his mouth

  14. Kiki says:

    This is what pissed me about these white Eurocentric assonine people. Has this man ever seen Idris Elba in any movies, even Luther was suave and sexy when he’s street. And even if Black actors came off as street, they ar dialect coaches that are there to teach people to become a certain way. Oh wait… They only do that for ” pacific” people who are not from the HOOD.

  15. Nancy says:

    Au contraire foolish author….this is one off the chart sexy sexy man. I don’t know why I doubled that sexy, I guess for 007.

  16. MrsBPitt says:

    I think Idris Elba would make a super sexy James Bond…Daniel Craig does NOTHING for me!!!! Damn, even in The Wire, when, I guess, you could say IE was “playing street”, his character was suave and sexy, to me!

  17. Bethie says:

    If Idris is too street then I’m hanging out on the wrong streets.

    He is literally the opposite of street and incredibly suave. Just say you don’t want a black James Bond and stop with your code word bullsh-t.

  18. AlmondJoy says:

    Idris is an ACTOR. That’s what acting is all about. He can become whatever is required for the role. Obviously “too street” is code for something else.

    • Kitten says:

      Exactly. He is a wonderful actor who can play “street” (The Wire) and “suave” (Luther) equally well. There is nothing this man can’t do. Hell, if Idris became the next Bond, I might actually watch my first Bond movie since Sean Connery starred.

      • AlmondJoy says:

        I agree!! He can play any type of person. I finally saw No Good Deed the other day. While it wasn’t the best movie he was SO believable and convincing as this awful, murderous lunatic. Like I was actually kind of scared and couldn’t see his fineness anymore lol. Yup it’ll might be my first Bond movie as well if he gets this role.

      • @AlmondJoy
        ME TOO! I watched it with my mom. and I was legit scared! And I normally am NEVER scared during these kinds of movies…….I thought the last five minutes lost steam to a lackluster ending, but the movie was great and scared the pants off of me.

      • Mark says:

        You think luther is suave?

  19. Swofty says:

    Yeah. Like he was in Thor. To ‘street’…i get iT, i really do.
    Being not like us..Some People Will never get it😞😶

  20. Sixer says:

    Horowitz goes on a morning current affairs talk show I have on in the background while I’m working. And he is always the left-of-centre panellist. So this is exceedingly disappointing and evidence of the silly ignorance of posh, white men. SIGH.

    Anyway. Idris is the world’s hottest man. Every pair of knickers on the planet knows that. So, obvs he would be a brilliant Bond.

    Shame that he’ll be too old to begin an 007 run by the time Craig does his last contracted film. Therefore, I vote Chiwetel.

  21. AG-UK says:

    Go away dude and continue writing books for 14 y/o boys. Idris can play anyone..

  22. lisa2 says:

    This whole thing is getting so ridiculous. They OBVIOUSLY don’t want him for Bond. And at this point if I were him and they offered the role I would say Hell no. Regardless of him maybe being interested or not; these kinds of stories make it seem as if people are begging them to reconsider. He seems to be getting interesting roles.. Why play a one note character for years and years.

    It would be great for this to just stop. And the characterizations are offensive to me.

    • Mia4S says:

      Why is it obvious they don’t want him, the role isn’t even available!

      The Internet has some kind of collective delusion that after Daniel Craig delivered the most financially and critically successful Bond movie of ALL TIME, that the producers are keen for him to go. It will be entirely Craig’s call. Sure he might be done after Spectre but more likely they won’t even be casting a new Bond for 3-4 years!

      Craig was 37 when cast, 38 when Casino Royale came out. Our next Bond is probably currently about 34-36. Elba is 43 currently. It’s not happening.

      • Neah23 says:

        I find it odd when people compare movies made today against movie made in the past. First movie in the past didn’t cost anywhere near what movies today’s cost to make. Also movies in the past weren’t making that kind of money partially because tickets were cheaper and their was no IMAX theaters and there wasn’t really any 3D movies, both which up the price and total earnings of a movie by a lot.

  23. Chinoiserie says:

    Meh, I feel nobody is allowed to dislike Idris Elba as Bond but I feel he is too old. I do not not know what this person was really thinking but he might just dislike him as an actor and used poor a word.

    • meme says:

      I think Idris is overrated anyone. He’s a good actor but not brilliant. He has great presence. I don’t like Bond movies so I really don’t care but Daniel Craig isn’t even good looking to me.

  24. Mia4S says:

    OK besides the obvious Idris is a brilliant actor and the statement was dumb, I’m going in a different direction:

    Is the press/Internet aware there is more than one Black actor in Britain?

    Idris Elba has said he’s not going to play the role, yet like some bizarre internet meme his name is the only one brought up…repeatedly. It’s a parody now. Like the joke of “I’m not racist, I have a black friend” now it’s “I’m not racist, I suggest Idris Elba for James Bond!”(Even though he said no, not likely).

    Oh and Adrian Lester is too old, but otherwise yes he is a better choice.

    • Sixer says:

      Yes to all this! But I’d love a black Bond. If Craig does another film, what about Ashley Walters? I’m a bit in love with him. (And clearly, only men I’m a bit in love with should be on the short list, otherwise it’s not fair). Charles Venn? Too old? Arinze Kene is ridiculously underrated and has bags of charisma. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje? Too old again? Michael Obiora? And that’s not even mentioning Chiwetel or DO.

      • Mia4S says:

        Yeah as I said above it is probably someone who is currently in their mid-30s since we are likely a few years out from a new Bond (Craig was 37 when cast). Honestly no one in that age group jumps at me as perfect (Brit actors of any colour) but I never would have picked Daniel Craig and he’s easily my favourite and has been an incredible success. I’ll sit back and be surprised.

      • Absolutely says:

        Ashley Walters? From Small Island? Mmmmm…..

  25. Naddie says:

    Lame excuse. Daniel Craig is not “suave” at all and he’s a great Bond.

    • Jayna says:

      But who says the author likes Daniel as Bond. I agree. He’s been a great Bond because of the edge he brings to Bond.

  26. Miss M says:

    I do like Adrian Lester as Bond!

  27. grabbyhands says:

    If by “too street” and “not suave enough” you mean you’re afraid that his insane charisma and hotness will literally melt the screen, then I agree with you.

    I’m crushed that the man that created Foyle’s war, which is of my favorite shows of all time, said this about Idris Elba, who could have played this role easily.

  28. Jayna says:

    idris is the epitome of tall, dark and handsome with a flair for sophistication with the right edge for James Bond. He’s all man.

    I think the writer did base his comments off of his character in Luther and maybe also on Idris’ natural accent. His accent reminds me of David Gahan of Depeche Mode, a less refined British accent. Whereas, Adrian Lester, who is also black (so I don’t believe a racist comment by the author on preference), has naturally a more sophisticated accent and I get the suaveness the author was talking about as far as Lester having that, but so does Idris IMO. Adrian is a very underrated actor, but he doesn’t have the imposing presence for Bond as Idris does. He’s more slight of build in appearance and not as gorgeous as Idris, who is swoonworthy (those broad shoulders), but Adrian is very, very talented.

    And what the author forgets is Idris is an actor. He has played many parts and many accents in the roles he’s played. Idris is perfect for Bond because he does have that suave appearance when you look at him and is a strong actor, but would bring the edge I would like to see in Bond. And Idris wears clothes like no man out there right now. Who looks better in a suit? No one.

    I remember when Daniel Craig was first announced many people all over the internet had a fit because he was blonde and thus wrong for Bond they said. They shut up when the first movie came out. And I like the brut edge Craig brings to Bond and would like to see it continue with the next actor, Idris, hopefully.

  29. Sawhatwhen says:

    I saw Craig with his Polish plumber-looks and brawny, rugged looks as an improvement on the “toffish” Bonds. And I loved it. He brought some good acting to the role and renewed the franchise, I believe. So I find it hard to believe that this guy was saying Idris would be “off-type/bad casting”. I firmly believe he was using code speak. It is clear the role of James Bond can evolve and audience would still get to the cinema. That GQ spread on Idris sold him to me as Bond. Hell, Stringer Bell sold him to me as one of the suavest, sexiest, most engaging actors to come along for a while. I watched The Wire just for Idris. I watched Luther just for idris. Hell, I watch that Ab Fab episode over and over just for Idris.

    I love “street”. Idris, baby, darling, sugar, come home. I’m making dinner…you can have pudding too….chocolate and cream … and we can do the dishes together…and if your shirt gets wet you can take it off…and then…you can have more pudding…yeah…more pudding…plus you can be as “street” as you want…just come home.

    • Franca says:

      Polish plumber looks?

      • EN says:

        I think Daniel Craig looks like Putin, just 20 years younger. Even the mannerism is the same. It is just so funny.
        He is a good actor, though, I liked him as Bond quite a bit.
        But yeah, he looks like your average Eastern European brawny guy.

  30. Guesto says:

    Idris, apart from being more suave than the suavest thing imaginable, has all the credentials – grace, depth, physicality, presence – to be a brilliant Bond. But, not being a Bond fan, I think Idris is far too good for the franchise so I’m not too bothered on that score.

    Reading Horowitz’s apology, I honestly don’t think it was race-generated on his part, more a reflection of who he thinks best fits his own (possibly narrow) perception of Bond ie. a throwback to the ‘cleancut’ ones – eg. Moore, Brosnan, rather than the (much more interesting imo) grittier-with-a-hint-of-danger ones like eg. Connery and the current Craig. Adrian Lester, Horowitz’s choice, while a very good and interesting actor, doesn’t have that physical ‘edginess’ that Craig and Idris have.

    • Jayna says:

      Great post. And I love Adrian Lester, Horowitz’s choice, but I agree that he doesn’t have the physical edginess/presence, as you say, that Idris and Craig both have which make them better Bonds for my preference.

      • Guesto says:

        Jayna, yes. It’s plainly a type-preference rather than a race issue. His choice of Adrian Lester imo comfirms that. As a writer, probably very invested in the character, Adrian is probably just closer to the Bond he ‘sees’ when he writes.

  31. Good Call says:

    Idris looks like a street Urchin and a thugs minnow. Not a Bond material for sure

  32. Josefa says:

    I find code words and euphemisms to be stupid, too, but I find it hilarious people act like it wouldn’t be a problem if he flat-out said he wants a white Bond. If he explicitly said that this comment section would have over 200 comments by now.

  33. serena says:

    Those are empty apologies, he MEANT that, because that’s the first thing that came to his mind so not filtered or anything. Idris is everything you wanna him to be, they should all be ashamed of themselves for not seeing this man/actor’s worth.

  34. M.A.F. says:

    Does he mean “street” as in “street-smart” or “street as in “hood”? Either way, why can’t Bond be everything and more? And let’s be honest folks, while the minority of us wouldn’t care who plays the character, since it is a fictional character, I’m sure the vast majority probably would care about the color of skin and that is who the studio will play to.

  35. Amy Tennant says:

    Idris is suaver than cheap shampoo and cooler than the other side of the pillow. “Street” is a code word like “urban.” Ugh. If anything, Idris is too good for Bond.

  36. Christina says:

    Those of you harping on the spelling of “offence”- FYI, that is the spelling in British English. Much like how Canadians (and perhaps Brits also) use the letter s in words where Americans would typically use z… For example naturalised vs. naturalized.

    I agree the guy is ridiculous- but he can be ridiculous and racist while we also acknowledge that the context of the quote was missing. Street= thug is his definition. He is completely off base as it relates to Idris, but Adrian Lester is a good, under appreciated actor as well.

  37. Maum says:

    How old was Brosnan as Bond? And Roger Moore? They both looked older than Idris.

    Depending on the storyline we could easily have a 40-something Bond.

    ETA can I just how much I love these IE posts? I feel like I’ve discovered him back in the days of Ultraviolet. 🙂

  38. K says:

    This mans comments make no sense. Idris is perfection personified. I can’t think of anyone with more gravitous, sex appeal or charm. I’m racking my brain trying to come up with one person as sexy, charming or smooth and have nothing. NOTHING!!!! I would literally let him do anything he wanted to me and would do anything he wanted and feel no shame- I’d brag. Hell I would probably call my mom and be like guess what idris just did to me- he is that perfect.

    Beyond all the sexy hotness Idris is an amazingly talented actor, I mean a breathtakingly beautifully gifted actor with fantastic range. Yes he can play “street” aka Stringer but there was nothing “street” about his Mandela. His portrayal of Mandela was dignified, strong, haunted, charming and driven.

  39. Tara says:

    There is nothing street about Idris Elba. Maybe his character on the Wire was, but that was a stretch for him. I try to tell people that racism is still very prevalent today. It’s just people like to use these code words or hint at it in a condescending, phony way, which is almost even more insulting. Just come right out and say what you are implying. Idris Elba is not suave? He’s 10 times more suave than Daniel Craig. He’s also a beautiful, talented man. Tell this man he is no Ian Flemming!

  40. Esteph says:

    First it was Daniel Craig being blond, and drinking what beer? instead of a martini, and now Idris is “too street”…come on, just as ta-nehisi pointed out and others who have retweeted, it’s because he’s black.

  41. EN says:

    I don’t know, I don’t like Idris. He just oozes “I am a God’ gift to the women” pheromones. Though I don’t necessarily see that as a detractor to being a Bond. Sean Connery pretty much the same.
    But this is why to me Idris is not “suave”. A man who thinks too highly of himself, and actually shows it, is not attractive to me. A “suave” man knows how to be charming but not overbearing. Or be so charming that the overbearing attitude is forgiven or is not as noticeable. Idris doesn’t quite get there.

  42. Gina says:

    Idris is incredibly elegant and sexy and definitely more classy than Daniel Craig who looks like Russian cab driver. But why do we need black Bond/spiderman/batman when it’s time to create new, much more exciting characters of color. Why complain about someone piece of work? JB is white and has a certain personality, who cares. More new diverse characters!

  43. Tdub30 says:

    This fellow is falling all over himself with BS. He’s a writer and in his non-apology he used the word “gritty”, so why didn’t he use *that* word to begin with if that’s how he saw IE…

  44. Brasileira says:

    Meaning: “not white enough to play Bond”, right?

  45. FingerBinger says:

    Give Elba his own character to play. Possibly Alex Cross. People need James Bond to be white ,let him be white.

    • Gina says:

      Exactly! who cares about bond. there’s place for new diverse characters. And they keep making million remakes of every franchise.

  46. Frosty says:

    Horowitz is an ass. Elba’s already made it clear he’s not interested in playing Bond, so Horowitz had no need to vomit up his opinion on the matter. And LOL at his fake, “sorry you took it that way” apology.

  47. EN says:

    I ‘ve looked up Adrian Lester. I think I get it now. I think the word the author was looking for is not “suave” but “refined”.

  48. Elvis says:

    Given that Ricky Tarr of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is one of the more realistic characters and types when it comes to espionage work, I think it could be really interesting to go with Idris Elba for Bond and make the whole thing less suave and less dandy overall. Daniel Craig is already the most “street” of all the Bonds, and the entire franchise could use some more reality in its scenes. I know the Bond franchise and Ian Fleming’s thing is more about the playboy lifestyle, but maybe some LeCarre influence wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Films are rarely not glam, so the shiny cars and expensive suits need not disappear.

    • marjiscott says:

      While he is certainly an accomplished , respected actor, he isn’t a Bond I want to see…neither for that matter, was Daniel Craig.

  49. iheartgossip says:

    He would make a better Bond than Roger Moore.

  50. waitwhat says:

    Why can’t a new character be made? There are plenty of fictional series about black international mystery men, so Hollywood needs to make a movie about one. I am not sure if I am more bothered by Hollywood’s lack of creativity in making new franchises or by their racism in not turning popular black novels into franchises…

    • EN says:

      Would it be profitable? That is the real question here and that is why I think these movies haven’t been made.
      Action movies are a huge multi-billion gamble these days,

    • Emily C. says:

      Seriously. I am so sick of Bond. I don’t think he works as a character any longer. He had his time (too much of it), let him rest in peace. The obsession with Bond is strangling any other possibilities.

      I think the worry about profitability is silliness. Make a fun action movie with charismatic leads, and people will see it.

  51. Kelly says:

    He is the writer and entitled to his own opinion as to who should play Bond. I don’t get all the uproar.

  52. Kate says:

    I admit I’ve been fine with Daniel Craig as Bond, but he strikes me as very…meathead. He’s gruff in the way Sean Connery was gruff but Connery additionally lent a real air of “suave” to the role. Daniel, not so much.

    I am ALL FOR Idris as Bond.

  53. FrenchGirlChi says:

    He should of stuck with his original comment from the get go and not steer from it.
    No matter how he said it, it leaves room for interpretation.

  54. jinglebellsmell says:

    I have thought many words about Idris Elba (and will not list so this page doesn’t get an xxx rating, lol)…and none of these words was ever “street”. Very odd!

  55. farfromhere says:

    All he said was white men fear the most: the sexual energy of the black male. It is a race issue that goes back to the beginning. Adrian, while a great actor, isn’t as commanding on screen as Idris. In other words, he’s not a threat to white male sexual prowess. Neither is David O. Or Chewy Ejiofore. So men of that “stature” will get chosen over men like Idris and Morris Chestnut.

  56. Jordan says:

    I don’t think there were any racial intentions, but to think Idris wouldn’t make a good JB, does make me question his eyesight!

  57. Bea says:

    Americans just love being offended don’t they? Yes Idris Elba would not fit the Bond stereotype if they plan on sticking with it, just like Charlie Hunnam wouldn’t make a good Bond. It’s not a colour issue, it’s about an actor and their general image not being right for the part.

    • Katie says:

      Yes Bea, Americans do love being offended, especially when they only have half the information. It’s the new national pastime

  58. Nat says:

    I loved this quote from the Globe and Mail article about this kerfuffle today:

    “I don’t care [about] Bond, but when suave gets amnesia, it looks at a photo of Idris Elba & says, ‘Oh right, that’s me,” quipped James Poniewozik, The New York Times’ newest TV critic.

  59. Katie says:

    *sigh* Idris Elba for Bond is a fabulous idea. I might actually see this one.