In a recent Reddit AMA, Denzel Washington revealed he would be interested in playing James Bond after Daniel Craig.

“The next James Bond? They better hurry up! Yes I would! Who’s doing James Bond now? Daniel Craig! Did they shoot another one? Everybody should tweet Denzel is James Bond! Send it to the studio!” he replied to user BigTalk45. “We start the Denzel is Bond campaign today! James Washington. Denzel Bond!”

Denzel WashingTON As First Black James Bond?

Like Liam Neeson, Washington has found something of a second career renaissance playing middle-aged action heroes. Washington’s last film Safe House received many comparisons to the Bond franchise among reviewers.

If it turns out that Washington does take on the role, it would be historical for two reasons. Washington’s casting would make it the first time that Bond has been black and played by an American (Barry Nelson doesn’t count). Given this seems more of a grassroots movement and fan excitement more than anything, it should be noted that even if Washington were up for the role, his age will be a major factor. Craig is contracted for two more Bond films with the next one coming out sometime in 2015, and its sequel rumored for 2017 or 2018. By then Washington will be 62, far older than Sean Connery and Roger Moore were when they originally left the character.

While rumors of Washington playing Bond have sprouted up from time to time, it was not the first time that a black actor was suggested to be taking Daniel Craig’s place.


Around the release of 2012’s Skyfall, it was rumored that The Wire actor Idris Elba was being discussed to replace Daniel Craig when his contract expires. However the rumor got started, it gained traction quickly with many fan-made teaser posters and trailers being released. Elba was asked on more than one occasion to comment on the rumor, and if he had met with producers.

“There was a huge rumor that once Daniel Craig finishes playing Bond that they were looking for someone different and my name was in that mix,” Elba said. “And I answered a bunch of questions and the bottom line is of course, I’d be honored to play the part if it comes my way.”

While Elba has been a long known admirer of the Bond franchise and appreciated the highly positive feedback from the rumor, Elba didn’t care for the racial element fans latched on to.

“I’ve always detested the phrase ‘Black Bond,’ I just don’t understand it,” Elba said. We don’t say “White Bond,” we just say “Bond” so it suddenly becomes a black man and he’s a ‘black Bond’ so I hate that phrase and it’s a rumor that’s gotten out of control basically but that’s all it is. There’s no truth in it whatsoever.”

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