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George Clooney Thinks He’s Too Old To Play James Bond, Supports Idris Elba as 007

George Clooney says he’s too old to play James Bond but would like to see Idris Elba portray the suave, elegant, patently British spy.

George Clooney thinks he’s too old to play British spy James Bond, but he’s vouching for Idris Elba to assume the mantle so many great British thespians have held before. Clooney has starred in, directed, and written a great many films and TV shows since his breakout role as Dr. Doug Ross in the NBC medical drama ER. Most recently Clooney produced, directed, and starred in The Midnight Sky, a sci-fi film about a scientist and a little girl who journey through the Arctic Circle to divert a spaceship returning to a ruined Earth.

The James Bond film series follows the eponymous MI6 agent. The superlative gentleman, Bond was created by former MI6 operative Ian Fleming, who wrote a series of novels starring the character. Bond has been portrayed by seven actors in 26 films, with the latest, No Time To Die, set to release April 2, 2021. It will be Daniel Craig’s last performance in the role, and as an era in the franchise comes to an end, No Time To Die is charting a course for a new kind of Bond. Star Lashana Lynch says the female characters in the film have a sense of agency not seen before in a Bond film, and Craig’s Bond comes to rely on them, especially as he isn’t as young as he used to be.

With Hollywood all abuzz about who will take over the role from Craig, the Irish Examiner reports that Clooney has taken his hat out of the ring and hitched his wagon to Elba. Speaking to Mark Wright on his Heart radio evening show, Clooney said he would refuse the role if offered, citing his age. Describing Elba, Clooney said, “He’s elegant, I think he’d do a great job of it.” If it had been up to him, Elba would have been made an offer already. Check out Clooney’s full quote below:

First of all because, I’ll be 60 this year so it’s a little late for the Bond thing. Second of all, Bond should be a Brit don’t you think? I mean properly. It just feels wrong. … The closest thing I’ve ever done to any kind of hero like that was Batman and we saw how that turned out.

He’s elegant, I think he’d do a great job of it. That’s who I would’ve cast, sure, absolutely but in general, no I don’t think I should be.

Clooney seems to be making a good call, vowing not to play a hero again after his starring role in 1997’s Batman & Robin, remembered as one of the worst superhero movies ever. He was not asked to reprise his role in the upcoming dimension-hopping DCEU Flash film. Elba, on the other hand, has little going against him. One of the most prolific and highly regarded British actors working today, Elba is certainly high on anyone’s list when they think of the nation’s trademark class.

With the James Bond series evidently headed in a fresh direction come Craig’s departure, Elba would make an excellent choice. No longer are the women of Bond’s world either femmes fatales or sinister villains. Craig’s Bond in No Time To Die is apparently more emotional and sincere, presenting a new take on masculinity from one of the quintessential male characters in cinema history. If chosen, Elba would be the first Black man to portray James Bond on the big screen, giving a beloved old hero a truly new face.