One of the big reveals of Sony’s nightmarish hacking scandal pulled back the curtain on the James Bond franchise, which is their only other major tentpole property next to their floundering Spider-Man series. The next Bond film, Spectre, has had its script leaked and details about its $300+ million budget revealed.
Still, of the Sony films which have seen their filming suspended, Spectre wasn’t one of them. Given the $1.1 billion worldwide success of 2012’s Skyfall – not to mention the critical acclaim for director Sam Mendes’ first Bond outing – Sony obviously needs to meet Spectre‘s November 2015 release date.
So far, we haven’t heard anything from current Bond Daniel Craig on the film’s current status, but according to certain leaked emails sent by Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chairman Amy Pascal (dated January 2014), she thinks Pacific Rim star Idris Elba would be a good choice for taking over the role.
Now, Idris Elba has responded to her comments via the following tweet:
Elba’s deft wording seems like a swipe at a certain radio host who think James Bond shouldn’t be black, as well as a way to poke fun at the situation and thank his fans for supporting the possibility. It’s also not a denial that he might potentially be in talks to take over the role after Daniel Craig steps away.
While Craig is contracted to appear in one more Bond film after Spectre, if this next installment in the franchise really is saddled with a hilariously bad third act – and if the Sony hack leaks continue to generate bad press clear through 2015 – the critical and fan reception of the movie could end up similar to the oft-derided Quantum of Solace (though that film’s reputation seems to be getting better as time goes on). If the franchise’s reputation suffers – as it invariably does – starting over with a new actor could be a good way to rejuvenate it, as has been done in the past.
As for Elba, his name has come up in connection with the role again and again and again. Would Daniel Craig drop of out his contract early? Prior to Skyfall‘s release, the actor was candid about his desire to walk away from the character, despite signing on for a total of five films in the end. Still, both Sean Connery and Timothy Dalton dropped the role early (though the former returned to it again and again), so the precedent is there.
While there are a number of charismatic British stars who could conceivably do the role justice, Elba appears to be the theoretical frontrunner and, in a recent Reddit AMA, he confirmed that he would “absolutely” take the role if offered.
In the end, all of this will depend on Spectre’s box office performance as well as its reception by critics and the iconic franchise’s die-hard fans. Stay tuned for more on Idris Elba as James Bond as details emerge.
Spectre will open in theaters on November 6, 2015.