Sorry James Bond Fans, Those Rumors About Idris Elba Are Probably Not What You Think

All entertainment news websites get accused of writing clickbait headlines, eventually. It’s just a fact of life. While there are really bad examples of clear clickbait, most of the time, it’s not intentional. But with the news that broke overnight that “Idris Elba Is The James Bond Front-Runner,” it’s worth digging a little deeper than just a headline. Because sadly, this is an example of clickbait-run-rampant.

If you follow film news, you probably saw a myriad of headlines over the last several hours about Idris Elba. Here are a few real examples, from prominent unnamed websites:

“Idris Elba Reportedly Frontrunner For James Bond Role”

“Idris Elba Is Reportedly The Frontrunner To Play James Bond, And People Are Shaken (And Stirred)”

“James Bond Producers Interested In Idris Elba To Play 007—Report”

“James Bond Producers Are Reportedly Leaning Toward Idris Elba as the Next 007”

What makes this even more egregious is that even if you click the article, and read it, you may think that the actor is, in fact, the front-runner to be Bond. But it’s not true. Just a couple simple clicks at the sources and you realize that this is an example of speculation combined with click-bait.

Here’s the real story.

In an interview with the Daily Star, a UK media outlet, Antoine Fuqua was asked about the future of James Bond. Fuqua, in addition to being a high-profile filmmaker, is an apparent pal of James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli. And the filmmaker said that when he spoke to her about the possibility of a Black Bond, she said that “it is time” for that to happen and she is certain “it will happen eventually.”

Notice no mention of Idris Elba.

Then the next quote is the article is about Fuqua discussing the possibility of Idris Elba taking the role. However, it’s not as a “hint” or anything. He mentions Elba as an actor who could do it but isn’t in the running yet.

“Idris could do it if he was in shape. You need a guy with a physically strong presence. Idris has that,” said Fuqua.

Keep in mind that the filmmaker isn’t a producer on the series. He’s not signed on to direct the next Bond. And there’s nothing that says he has any sway in the casting of the character. But Fuqua believes that Elba could do it.

So, yes, the actor’s name was brought up in the story. But no, he’s not the current “front-runner” to take the role. He’s just an actor that was mentioned and might be good in the role. Same as he was last week. Same as he will be in a month.

Sorry, Bond fans, but the rumor that Elba will take over the role is just that, a rumor. A rumor that’s mixed with a healthy dose of speculation with a mighty leap taken to get there.