The James Bond producers understand why Idris Elba would turn down the 007 role

·2 min read

So Idris Elba doesn't want to play 007? The producers get it.

James Bond franchise brass Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson have responded to the actor's recent statement that he doesn't see himself portraying the iconic character. The Luther star has long been rumored as a possible candidate to replace Daniel Craig in the role of the super-spy, but in a recent interview he seemed to make it pretty clear he was unlikely to take it on.

"When I look in the mirror, I don't see James Bond," Elba told The Wall Street Journal.

Idris Elba
Idris Elba

Gregg DeGuire/WireImage Idris Elba

However, now Broccoli and Wilson have explained why they understand Elba's reasoning, given their desire to find an actor who can play Bond in multiple films and the fact that the actor is only four years younger than Craig.

"The thing is, it's going to be a couple of years off," Broccoli said in a new interview with Variety. "And when we cast Bond, it's a 10-, 12-year commitment. So he's probably thinking, 'Do I really want that thing?' Not everybody wants to do that. It was hard enough getting [Daniel Craig to do it]."

Added Wilson, "And he was in his early 30s at the time!" (Craig was actually 37 when the producers officially announced he had the role.)

Broccoli went on to say that the pool of potential Bonds is limited by actors' reluctance to commit to the part for the long haul. "A lot of people think, 'Oh yeah, it'd be fun to do one,'" the producer said. "Well. That ain't gonna work."

She also emphasized that producers have to figure out the nature of the forthcoming Bond film before securing its lead.

"That's why when people go, 'Oh, who are you going to get?' it's not just about casting an actor for a film," she said. "It's about a reinvention, and 'Where are we taking it? What do we want to do with the character?' And then, once we figure that out, who's the right person for that particular reinvention?"

Finally, the producers revealed that they're still in the "early days" of their search for the next 007.

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