You might say Idris Elba has a deep bond with 007 fans. The acclaimed British actor tops a new U.K. poll asking James Bond devotees who they want most to play the suave, martini-swilling superspy once Daniel Craig hangs up his tuxedo for good following his still-untitled fifth outing.
According to London's Express, the 1,000 people who took part in the ODEON survey gave Elba 26 percent of the vote for first place, followed close behind by erstwhile Mad Max and Venom star Tom Hardy with 22 percent.
Tom Hiddleston, who plays Loki in Marvel's Thor movies, earned 11 percent for third. While rounding out the top five were Irish actor Aidan Turner, famous for playing Kili in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy, and little known English thesp James Norton, who starred in last year's Flatliners' remake, but is probably better regarded for his television work.
Currently referred to as Bond 25, the latest 007 adventure is set to begin shooting on December 3 under the direction of Trainspotting auteur Danny Boyle with a script by Boyle's longtime screenwriter John Hodge.
At 45, Idris would be the oldest man to take over the role since the beloved Roger Moore, who starred in his first Bond flick at the tender age of 46 and went on to tie original franchise star Sean Connery with the most entries – six – not including the latter's stint in Never Say Never Again, a non-canon unofficial remake of Thunderball.
George Lazenby was but a mere 30-years-old when he succeeded Connery in 1969's On Her Majesty's Secret Service while Pierce Brosnan was 43 when he debuted as the secret agent in the mid-'90s with 1995's Goldeneye. And current Bond Craig was 37 when he took over for the latter starting with 2005's Casino Royale. So given the action-oriented jobs he's been taking lately - films like The Dark Tower and his role as Heimdall in the MCU, the Luther star has plenty of mileage in him.
While the fans certainly give Idris the edge, the man himself has been downplaying the rumors that veteran producer Barbara Broccoli and Eon Productions, which oversees the series, have him in the running to be the first black Bond. Just the other day, he posted a series of tweets teasing fans about the possibility while telling them, "Don’t Believe the Hype" over a photo of Public Enemy, undoubtedly a sly nod to all the buzz that he's an MI6 contender
Either way, whoever goes on to play cinema's most iconic smoothie, they'll have to wait for Daniel Craig to officially retire from the part first. His supposedly final James Bond mission is scheduled to hit the big screen on November 8, 2019.