Idris Elba at Hobbes and Shaw premiere
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Credit: Gregg DeGuire / Stringer / Getty Images

Idris for Everything: 6 movies he should have been in

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Jan 16, 2020, 5:14 PM EST (Updated)

Idris Elba is ... [please fill in the blank].

An amazing actor? Check.

A catch? Absolutely.

More handsome than should be humanly allowed? Painfully true.

But there are some things that Idris Elba is not, and we feel that now, during the month of FANGRRLtopia, it's time to air our grievances and share our recommendations. Idris Elba for everything, but especially Idris for these six roles.

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Superman

"Look at me, I'm black Superman!” This is a line from the 2019 box office hit, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw in which Idris Elba played a seemingly unstoppable villain. He wasn't an alien — instead, his body had been modified through a painful procedure to make him bulletproof. As Brixton Lore, he used to be a good guy, but events have taken a turn and his all-black leather attire underscores his evil bidding. But this left me pondering what Idris as Kal-El would look like, and he could definitely pull off the red and blue color palette and the Clark Kent specs. He has done the superhero thing as Heimdall in the Thor movies, but it is well past time for him to take center stage in a comic book adaptation. - Emma Fraser

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James Bond

The Idris for James Bond conversation feels like it has been taking place for as long as the character has been around, but there is a reason viewers feel passionately about this choice. He has the physique, charm, swagger, and action hero ability to pull off all the impressive stunts, spy moves, and hook-ups. We know he looks great in a tuxedo (and he could definitely work the martini glass accessory) and the teeny tiny swimming shorts are not going to be a sartorial issue. Bond has only ever been a white guy, but just because that's how Ian Fleming wrote him in the novels it doesn't mean casting directors have to stick with that mandate. - Emma Fraser

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Benoit Blanc (Knives Out)

No, not all these suggestions are Daniel Craig roles; however, Idris has the comedic chops to also land the heavily accented Benoit Blanc from Rian Johnson's recent whodunit success story. He's got the detective aspect down after years on Luther, but this is much lighter material (although there is still murder), and Idris deserves a resume with some more laughs. Craig was great as Benoit Blanc, particularly with his outrageous accent work, but Idris tapping that piano key and slowly peeling back the lies of the Thrombey family is far too delicious an opportunity to pass up. Maybe Rian Johnson can cast him in the sequel? - Emma Fraser

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Electro (The Amazing Spider-Man 2)

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is hard to defend, but it would be slightly more defensible with Idris playing the role of Electro. Generally speaking, I love an unintentionally funny villain in my comic book movie, but I don’t love this one. This Electro had me cringing in secondhand embarrassment. I have a feeling Idris’s take on the character would be a touch more menacing. His Electro would seem more like a nemesis than a nuisance to Peter Parker. Idris is quite enjoyable as a villain (he was easily the best part of Hobbs & Shaw) and by casting him, maybe, just maybe, there would have been a slight chance for The Amazing Spider-Man 3. I don’t know about you, but I needed to see how Paul Giamatti's Rhino was going to pan out. - Stephanie Williams

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Cable (Deadpool 2)

Listen, Idris Elba would be great in anything, but his cocksure strut (as seen in Hobbs and Shaw), his capacity for dark humor (as seen in Cats), and his damn good looks (as seen in... everything) would make him the ideal Cable. We already know he can rock tight, all-black clothing and/or no shirt at all — it’s not hard to imagine him in Cable’s get-up with the bonus of getting to see him in another cape! (ILY Heimdall.) Sure, we were here for Josh Brolin in Deadpool 2, so this isn’t about needing to replace someone—although maybe Elba wouldn’t look so tiny next to Cable’s BFG (big f***ing gun). Elba is a treasure, and I desperately want to see him with a Winter Soldier arm. - S.E. Fleenor

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Max Payne

If you've ever watched Luther, then you know good Idris Elba is when he's playing a detective with baggage. If you are at all familiar with Mark Wahlberg in most of the projects he stars in, then you know there is always a better option who was probably too busy for the role. So, what am I getting at exactly? Max Payne, but starring Idris Elba instead of Wahlberg. You get Luther but on Vlakyr, the addictive drug in the movie Max Payne. I think Wahlberg goes shirtless in the movie but even if he didn't, Elba's Max Payne would've definitely given us those shirt-free moments. There is plenty of slow-motion shooting which is actually just a wonderful opportunity to let us enjoy Idris at a reduced speed. Why would no one want that? Plus, there is a good chance a Max Payne with Idris would have gotten at least one sequel. - Stephanie Williams

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All the cats (Cats)

Only one thing could have saved Cats: more Idris. Less of the everything else. Idris as Skimbleshanks. Idris as Rum Tum Tugger. Idris as the Magical Mister Mistoffelees. Idris as Victoria the ballerina white cat. Idris as Judi Dench's human hand. If this film had been just Idris Elba's one-man Cats it would have been the greatest movie of all time. - Courtney Enlow

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