British actor Idris Elba was revealed as a possible contender to play the next James Bond during the Sony email hack last year, however author Anthony Horowitz said this week he's "probably a bit too street for Bond."
"Idris Elba is a terrific actor, but I can think of other black actors who would do it better," Horowitz told the Daily Mail
in an interview published Saturday.
"For me, Idris Elba is a bit too rough to play the part. It’s not a color issue. I think he is probably a bit too 'street' for Bond. Is it a question of being suave? Yeah."
The original "James Bond" book series upon which the movies are based was first penned by Ian Fleming, who died in 1964. Horowitz, a novelist and screenwriter, was hired by the Fleming estate in recent years to write a new Bond novel, "Trigger Mortis," which will hit bookstores on Sept. 8.
Horowitz' comment did not go over well with many prominent voices on Twitter, several of which called it coded racism.
Many pointed out that Elba, who played a Baltimore drug kingpin on HBO series "The Wire" and Norse god Heimdall in the "Thor" and "Avengers" movies, has plenty of "suave" credentials.
Elba has commented on the speculation that he'll play Bond, saying only that it all amounts to rumor. He's stayed mum on whether or not he'd be interested in the role, if offered.
The next James Bond movie, "Spectre," premieres Nov. 6 in the U.S.
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