Although a fan and studio favorite to play James Bond, Idris Elba is “too street” for the role, according to 007 author Anthony Horowitz.
The English novelist, whose latest book in the Bond series, “Trigger Mortis,” hits stores on Sept. 8, told the Daily Mail that the actor is simply not suave enough to succeed Daniel Craig.
“Idris Elba is a terrific actor, but I can think of other black actors who would do it better,” he said. “For me, Idris Elba is a bit too rough to play the part. It’s not a color issue. I think he is probably a bit too ‘street’ for Bond. Is it a question of being suave? Yeah.”
Horowitz also said that “Skyfall,” the last and highest-grossing Bond film to date, is his “least favorite” movie from the franchise.
“Bond is weak in it. He has doubts. That’s not Bond,” Horowitz said. “Secondly, the villain wins. The villain sets out to kill M. The film finishes with the villain killing M. So why have I watched it?”
Roger Moore, who played Bond between 1973 and 1985, recently mimicked Horowitz’s sentiment in the French magazine Paris Match, but later said that his comments were taken out of context.
“I think [Bond] should be ‘English-English,’” Moore said. “Nevertheless, it’s an interesting idea, but unrealistic.”
Speculation that Elba would play Bond reached its peak late last year following the release of a hacked email sent in early January 2014 by Sony Pictures’ then-co-chair Amy Pascal to Elizabeth Cantillon, former exec VP of production for Columbia Pictures, which distributes the Bond films, that read, “Idris should be the next bond.”
That was followed by Rush Limbaugh’s controversial comments that James Bond must be “white and Scottish.”
“James Bond is a total concept put together by Ian Fleming. He was white and Scottish. Period. That is who James Bond is, was,” Limbaugh said last December. “But now [they are] suggesting that the next James Bond should be Idris Elba, a black Briton, rather than a white from Scotland. But that’s not who James Bond is.”
“I know it’s racist to probably point this out,” he also acknowledged.
The next Bond movie, “Spectre,” hits theaters on Nov. 6.