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Rumor of the day: Could Idris Elba really be suiting up as the next James Bond?

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Aug 10, 2018, 4:56 PM EDT (Updated)

The rumors have persisted for years, but will the stars of fate finally align and make Idris Elba (Pacific Rim) the next James Bond? In a story from the U.K.-based tabloid Daily Star, it was stated that Equalizer 2 director Antoine Fuqua told "an industry pal" about a conversation he'd had with longtime Bond producer Barbara Broccoli.

“It is time” for an ethnic minority actor to star as 007, and she is certain "it will happen eventually," Fuqua reportedly said. “Idris could do it if he was in shape. You need a guy with physically strong presence. Idris has that.”

Fuqua's camp is now denying this, writes The Hollywood Reporter, which received a statement from a representative of the filmmaker. 

"He never had a conversation with Barbara about the franchise or about any casting. It’s all made up stuff. Not sure how it got started," they said.

THR also reached out to Elba's rep, who did not answer, although "a knowledgeable source" for the publication revealed that no one in the actor's group of confidants knows anything about a Bond consideration (or offer) simmering away at Eon Productions, the Hollywood home of Agent Bond.

While there's no denying that Elba is a phenomenal actor, his age could be a key factor in the ultimate decision of who takes up the mantle of 007 next. At 45, he's not old by any means, but still old enough for there to be concerns about him carrying the spy-fi franchise for multiple films. In today's entertainment industry, actors hired by studios for massive, self-perpetuating properties need to be, in the words of Deadpool, "young enough to carry their own franchise for 10 to 12 years."

That being said, Roger Moore, who still holds the record for starring in the most Bond movies (unless you count Never Say Never Again, in which case Connery ties with him), was 46 when he starred in 1973's Live and Let Die. Moreover, three out of the six mainstream Bond actors were in their 40s when they joined the franchise, so it's not crazy to think Elba could easily slip into the role of the martini-drinking, smooth-talking, globe-trotting MI6 agent. Plus, the dude is literally a kickboxer, so there's no doubt he has the skill set.

Nevertheless, Daniel Craig isn't quite ready to vacate the role just yet, preparing to shoot his final James Bond movie with Danny Boyle as the director. Bond 25 begins production Dec. 3 and is slated for theatrical release on Nov. 8, 2019. 

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