Exclusive: Sony Emails Reveal Studio Head Wants Idris Elba For the Next James Bond
During a particularly droll year-end press conference on Friday, President Obama channeled his inner Louis C.K., entertaining a horde of reporters on subjects ranging from Congress to Cuba to a hybrid NFLer/actor by the name of "James Flacco."
One of the first questions lobbed at the Commander-in-Chief concerned the Sony hack and subsequent cancellation of The Interview’s film release—a destructive cyber-terror attack on the film studio as supposed retribution for their Kim Jong Un assassination comedy, which FBI officials believe to be the work of North Korea (though cybersecurity experts have their doubts).
“[Sony] suffered significant damage, there were threats against some employees. I am sympathetic to the concerns that they faced,” Obama said. “Having said all that, yes, I think they made a mistake.”
He added, “We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States.”
Plenty of the Sony emails have focused on Sony’s prized horse—the James Bond franchise, including the 24th Bond flick Spectre, scheduled to hit theaters on November 6, 2015. Reports have indicated that the script has leaked, the film’s budget ballooned to over $300 million, and that it may feature Blofeld as the villain.
For years, there’s been a lot of online chatter suggesting that Idris Elba, the suave British actor, should be the next James Bond—making him the first black 007.
Current superspy Daniel Craig has even voiced his desire to vacate the post, telling Rolling Stone in 2012, “I've been trying to get out of this from the very moment I got into it. But they won't let me go, and I've agreed to do a couple more, but let's see how this one does, because business is business and if the shit goes down, I've got a contract that somebody will happily wipe their ass with.” Craig is signed on for just one more Bond flick after Spectre.
When The Daily Beast spoke to Jamie Foxx earlier this year, coincidentally for the Sony flick The Amazing Spider-Man 2, he said he was a big fan of the idea of a martini-sipping Elba. “I ran into Idris and I said, ‘You know you’re the motherfuckin’ James Bond, right?’” Elba himself has admitted he’d love to play the role if offered.
It seems Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chairman Amy Pascal is a big fan of the idea, too.
An email sent on January 4, 2014, from Pascal to Elizabeth Cantillon, former executive vice president of production for Columbia Pictures, which distributes the Bond films, simply says, “Idris should be the next bond.”