Tom Hanks has weighed in on the hunt for the next 007, telling BBC News that Idris Elba is the man for the job. “Understand this,” he told the outlet, “James Bond has a licence to kill. I would issue that licence to Idris Elba just based on the work that I’ve seen him do.”
Elba has long been the subject of speculation linking him to Ian Fleming’s iconic character. But he’s also continued to deny any truth to the chatter. His latest film, Luther: The Fallen Sun, released earlier this year and included a scene in which his titular detective refuses a martini. At the time, he told the Radio Times, “My Bond audition? Oh my God, no! I’ve been saying for years, no… The martini line is a bit cheeky, isn’t it?”
Elba also told The Guardian around the Luther release that he remains extremely close to Bond’s producers, Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson, but dismissed the idea of them ever offering him the role: “I can’t speak for them, but from my perspective, there’s never been any sort of truth to any of it. It’s a compliment and it’s an honor, but it’s not a truth.”
Hanks was speaking with the BBC just as his first novel, The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece, hits shelves today. A fictionalized chronicle of the creation of a Marvel-style movie, it’s received lukewarm notices with the New York Times writing that “charm abounds” but calling the book “too often a maddeningly excursive endeavor.”
The two-time Oscar winner told the BBC that his “day job as a movie star” means he can “handle” any criticism. Hanks previously wrote 2017’s Uncommon Type, a well-received collection of short stories.
The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece features a cast of characters including an eccentric director and a self-important and highly obstructive male actor. Hanks told the BBC, ”I have pulled every single one of those moments of behavior myself on a set… Not everybody is at their best every single day on a motion picture set… I’ve had tough days trying to be a professional when my life has been falling apart in more ways than one and the requirement for me that day is to be funny, charming and loving – and it’s the last way I feel.”
In the conversation with the BBC, the question of Bond came up when Hanks was asked about the airbrushing of books for modern audiences (ie works by Fleming, Agatha Christie and Roald Dahl). Said Hanks, “I’m of the opinion that we’re all grown-ups here. Let’s have faith in our own sensibilities as opposed to having somebody decide what we may or may not be offended by. Let me decide what I am offended by and what I’m not offended by. I would be against reading any book from any era that says ‘abridged due to modern sensitivities’.”