Idris Elba Confirms He Won’t Play James Bond In Next 007 Movie

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After months of speculation, rumor, and gossip, Idris Elba had a straightforward answer for a reporter who asked if he’s the next 007.

“No.”

The question was raised by Divya Kohli, of Good Morning Britain, at the premiere of the new film, Yardie, which Elba directed. In a brief interview, Elba jokingly responded that he prefers his martinis “stir-fried” over “shaken or stirred,” before delivering his short answer to the most important question.

His response comes as a surprise after Elba fanned the flames of the rumor mill by sending out a few clues that hinted strongly in the opposite direction. As reported by The Inquisitr last week, his selfie, captioned “my name’s Elba, Idris Elba,” set off a firestorm of speculation. During last week’s Elrow Town Festival in London, he opened his DJ set with the James Bond theme song.

Elba’s recent tweet seemed in direct conflict with interviews he’d given earlier in the year. Elba has said publicly that he felt he was too old to play Bond, and that “running around in cars and ladies and martinis… sounds terrible,” according to BBC.

“I keep saying if it were to happen it would be the will of a nation because there haven’t been any talks between me and the studio about any of that. But everywhere I go people want that to happen.”

The Elba-as-Bond rumors started in 2014, when leaked emails from Sony revealed a message from Amy Pascal, head of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s motion pictures group, to Elizabeth Cantillon, then-executive VP of Production for Columbia Pictures. “Idris should be the next Bond,” Pascal wrote.

Earlier this year, Elba went on the record as encouraging producers to think outside of the box for their next Bond. “It could be a woman, it could be a black woman, it could be a white woman.”

After years of entertaining the notion of Elba taking over the Bond role, many of his fans are heartbroken, taking to Twitter to express their disappointment.

While Elba’s fans won’t see their Bond dreams fulfilled, Elba’s certainly keeping busy. His directorial debut, Yardie, set in Jamiaca and London in the 70s and 80s, will be released in the U.K. on Friday. He’ll return to his starring role on BBC’s Luther later this year.

Monday, the official James Bond Twitter account released a statement, reporting that director Danny Boyle has stepped down from the upcoming production of Bond 25 due to “creative differences.” Bond 25 is scheduled to hit U.S. theaters this November.