The Current Author of the James Bond Books Said Idris Elba Is Too 'Street' to Play the Spy

Author Anthony Horowitz claimed that the British actor wasn't "suave" enough for the role, but c'mon dude, remember Roger Moore?
September 1, 2015, 5:00pm

Idris Elba looking suave. Photo via Flickr user Lwp Kommunikáció, thumbnail via

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Daniel Craig's filling James Bond's wingtips right now, but that will change soon. The actor has talked about bowing out after this year's Spectre, leaving the world in need of a new Bond. Many fans already have a guy in mind: Idris Elba, the star of Luther and a guy who has already cemented his legacy thanks to his role as Stringer Bell in The Wire. Elba is made to play Bond—he's British, dapper as shit, would love to do it, and the man can wear a suit like God invented the single Windsor just for him. (He's also black; all of the previous Bonds have been white.)

Unfortunately, not everyone is sold on Elba. Last weekend, the guy currently writing sequels to Ian Fleming's original Bond novels, Anthony Horowitz, threw some serious shade on the idea.

In an interview with the Daily Mail the author shrugged off the idea of Idris Elba picking up Bond's PPK, saying that the Elba is a bit "too street" to play James. He insisted that it wasn't a "color issue" and added Elba wasn't "suave" enough.

Just listen to Idris Elba rap and then tell us he isn't suave enough to play Bond. Roger Moore had that awful clown scene in Octopussy, for Christ's sake. The bar is set pretty low. To prove Horowitz wrong, here's a list of the Bonds, from suavest to least suave. You'd be hard pressed to argue that fucking Stringer Bell wouldn't land in at least the top half of this list.

1. Sean Connery

It would be a mistake to have anyone but Connery top a Bond list, but that's not because of any nostalgia or blind worship. The Scotsman deserves all the accolades he gets. The man's hair was impeccably coiffed, he barely spoke above a sensual murmur, and he never broke a sweat, not even when Goldfinger was glazing his testicles with an agonizingly slow-moving laser. He is the paragon of suaveness; the ruler by which we measure all things suave.

2. Pierce Brosnan

Brosnan may not have been blessed with the greatest Bond movies, but there's a reason the producers spent years trying to get him to don the tux. Brosnan does exude a certain smirking charisma, whether he's being tortured in North Korea or showering with beautiful spies in Ho Chi Minh City. Not everybody can be turned into a demented large-headed video game avatar and come out the other side still leeching cool from every pore.

3. Timothy Dalton

Dalton's Bond was all tightly-wound rage—he was vengeful in a way we hadn't seen Bond before, and even cried a little bit at one point. A tearful, rage-filled Bond doesn't exactly scream "suave," but Dalton's Bond was less of Roger Moore's superhero and more of an actual spy. He snuck around; he carried tiny binoculars; he brought merciless, calculated revenge down upon those who wronged him; and kept his head the entire time.

4. Daniel Craig

Although Craig will probably go down as one of the best canonical Bonds, his more realistic, gritty portrayal of the spy is not particularly suave. He even threw up in Casino Royale. Vomit is definitively un-suave.

5. George Lazenby

The runt of the Bond litter is easily forgotten, but On Her Majesty's Secret Service has stood up surprisingly well over the years. Plus, Lazenby famously found out about the opportunity to play Bond while having a threesome, so that has to count for something.

6. Roger Moore

Take a second and watch the stupid clown scene from Octopussy again. Now, watch Moore driving a stupid motorized gondola around Venice. Finally, here's the least-arousing sex scene ever to sully the Bond name. Anthony Horowitz should have his authorial Bond duties revoked for insinuating that Idris Elba is less suave than this. Roger Moore was an abomination.