Actor Idris Elba has walked away from talks to take over as James Bond, according to a new report.
The 49-year-old star had long been a favourite to replace Daniel Craig, 54, after his fifth and final Bond outing in last year’s No Time To Die.
However, the Luther star is said to be pursuing his own film franchise and has suggested to Bond producer Barbara Broccoli to look at other 007s.
A source told The Sun: “Fans and Barbara wanted Idris but he wants to create something for himself.
“However, he’s put forward names to play 007.
“He’s ‘informally’ in the decision-making process as he’s been in talks with producers for so long.”
The Evening Standard have contacted Idris Elba’s representatives for comment.
Following Craig’s departure from the franchise last year, Broccoli hinted that she had Elba in her sights as she declared, “He’s a magnificent actor.”
However, Elba has previously said rumours about whether he will succeed Craig as James Bond got “out of hand”.
At the time, the Yardie director stoked speculation he was gearing up to play the 007 agent with a Twitter post in the wake of Broccoli declaring “it’s time” for a black actor to step into the role.
The actor sent fans into a frenzy after he tweeted a selfie and appeared to reference Bond’s famous catchphrase “The name’s Bond, James Bond,” by captioning the shot: “My name’s Elba, Idris Elba.”
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Elba said he didn’t set about to “tease” fans, but added it was hard to resist when he found himself at the centre of an “incredible rumour”.
He told Sky News in 2018: “I’m not teasing, I’m not meant to be teasing. But you’ve got to laugh it’s such an incredible rumour that has gotten out of hand – and hey, why not?”
With Elba seemingly out of the running, Rege-Jean Page, 34, is currently the bookies’ favourites at 3/1, while Henry Cavill, 39, stands at 10/3 and Oscar nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor, 45, at 7/2. Odds provided by Betfair.