UPDATE (9/1/15): Predictably, the novelist Anthony Horowitz has apologized for having disparaged Idris Elba as "too street" to play James Bond on the big screen. Horowitz issued the following statement via Twitter, where he stressed, again, that he's not generally opposed to the notion of a black actor in the role of James Bond:
I'm really sorry my comments about Idris Elba have caused offence [full statement attached] pic.twitter.com/UD6ouA45Uv— Anthony Horowitz (@AnthonyHorowitz) September 1, 2015
See original story from 9/1/15 below.
English novelist Anthony Horowitz, author of the forthcoming Trigger Mortis, is the latest successor to the late James Bond series creator Ian Fleming. And while Horowitz's involvement in the Bond franchise is contractually limited to the novels, he's told The Daily Mail that actor Idris Elba, a rumored successor to Daniel Craig, is unsuitable to play James Bond in the film series. Elba is "too street" for the role, according to Horowitz.
"Idris Elba is a terrific actor," Horowitz said, "but I can think of other black actors who would do it better. [...] For me, Idris Elba is a bit too rough to play the part. It’s not a color issue."
While it's true that James Bond and DCI John Luther aren't similar characters—Fleming's Bond is a refined mercenary, whereas Elba's Luther is a percussive alcoholic—"too street" is a nonetheless strange criticism of a "terrific" actor who is, presumably, adaptable to whatever the casting call and director ask of him. Or perhaps Horowitz prefers the blanched, horny corporate accountant steez that Pierce Brosnan brought to role.
Below, peep this one scene from the first season of BBC's Luther, starring Idris Elba. The man's clips speak in his favor.