Idris Elba refused to make a 'James Bond' quip in 'Hobbs & Shaw'

Tom Butler
Senior Editor
(L-R) Dwayne Johnson and Idris Elba arrives at the premiere of Universal Pictures' Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

He’s long been linked with being the first black James Bond, but Idris Elba didn’t want to add fuel to the fire with his new film Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw.

Elba’s villain Brixton, a cyber-genetically enhanced anarchist, declares himself to be “the black Superman” in trailers for the Fast & Furious spin-off, but the line was originally going to be “I’m the black James Bond” before the British star nixed it.

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, star and producer of Hobbs & Shawtold Variety Elba declined to say the line because “It’s too close to what everybody’s talking about.”

Johnson - who returns as hulking lawman Luke Hobbs in the spin-off - takes credit for the line, which has already become iconic.

“Everyone loves ‘the black Superman’ line. Everyone’s taking credit for it – Idris, our director, our producers, I’m sure, Jason [Statham]… [but] I came up with that,” Johnson said. “I said, ‘What about the black Superman?’’ And everyone’s like, ‘Great!’ [But] now everyone takes credit.”

In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Elba revealed that he’d jump at the chance to play James Bond after Daniel Craig stepped down from the role.

“James Bond is a hugely coveted, iconic, beloved character, that takes audiences on this massive escapism journey,” the 46-year-old said.

Read more: When did Idris Elba first get linked with 007?

“Of course, if someone said to me ‘Do you want to play James Bond?,’ I’d be like, Yeah! That’s fascinating to me. But it’s not something I’ve expressed, like, yeah, I wanna be the black James Bond.”

Idris Elba poses in the Winners room at the House Of Fraser British Academy Television Awards 2016. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)

Daniel Craig’s final outing as James Bond - codenamed Bond 25 - is rumoured to introduce a new 007 in the guise of Captain Marvel star Lashana Lynch.

A movie insider told the Mail on Sunday: 'There is a pivotal scene at the start of the film where M says 'Come in 007', and in walks Lashana who is black, beautiful and a woman.

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales meets British actors Lashana Lynch (L) and Naomie Harris (R) as he tours the set of the 25th James Bond Film at Pinewood Studios. (Photo by Niklas Halle'n - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

'It's a popcorn-dropping moment. Bond is still Bond but he's been replaced as 007 by this stunning woman.”

Lynch is NOT replacing Daniel Craig as James Bond as some outlets would have you believe, and the search for the next James Bond remains very much in progress.

Fast & Furious: Hobbs and Shaw, starring Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba, and Vanessa Kirby, comes to cinemas on 1 August.