Judi Dench is all in on Idris Elba as James Bond

Gregory Wakeman
Contributor
Judi Dench on Idris Elba: ‘He would be a brilliant Bond.’

Judi Dench believes that Idris Elba would make a superb James Bond, heaping praise on her fellow Cats star, who she clearly got quite chummy with during its production.

The 84-year-old Oscar winner will star as Old Deuteronomy in the upcoming film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s renowned musical, while Elba portrays Macavity.

When her recent conversation with the Telegraph turned to Elba and the lingering rumours that he might one day play 007, Dench declared, “Oh I think he would be a brilliant Bond.”

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“When we filmed Cats he kept saying to me, ‘Will you send me to the Heaviside Layer?’ And at one point I turned to him and said: ‘No – I’ll send you to Mi6’.”

Unfortunately, if Elba was cast as Daniel Craig’s replacement he wouldn’t actually get the chance to reunite with Dench. That’s because the national treasure, who played M in the James Bond franchise for seven films between 1995’s Goldeneye and 2012’s Skyfall, devastatingly died in the latter.

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Dench was as upset as audiences when she learned that her version of the spymaster would perish, as she burst into tears upon first reading the script.

Ralph Fiennes has since stepped into the huge shoes vacated by Dench, but she is still clearly invested in the franchise, its future and how James Bond should be portrayed in 2019.

So much so, that when asked that very question she made sure not to step on anyone’s toes. “I don’t expect Bond will [make misogynistic quips] anymore. But then it won’t be Ian Fleming if he’s not going to do that, will it? And it would all get very serious. But it’s a decision they’ll have to make, isn’t it?’”

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Daniel Craig will return as James Bond for the final time when the 25th film of the series is released on 8 April, 2020, the production of which will reportedly begin next month. Rumours that Idris Elba will step in as 007 will continue to be rife between now and then.