The James Bond franchise has been remarkably enduring. There are few franchises outside of “Star Wars” — and even that series took very long breaks — that have lasted for decades, and at the moment, the property is more valuable than it has even been. “Skyfall” broke the billion dollar mark — the first time for a Bond movie ever — and expectations are very high for the upcoming “Spectre.” And so, you would think that Ian Fleming‘s estate, in choosing writer Anthony Horowitz to pen the next official Bond book “Trigger Mortis” (lol), might’ve given him a crash course in media relations, because his chat with the Daily Mail is earning the wrong kind of attention.
While Daniel Craig’s future as 007 beyond “Spectre” seems uncertain (more on that in a second), there has already been much speculation and advocacy for Idris Elba to be the next actor to take on the iconic secret agent role. In fact, the chatter has gone on so long that Elba himself said this past spring, “If there was ever any chance of me getting Bond, it’s gone.” Still, there are many who want to see him in the role — but Horowitz is not one of them.
“Idris Elba is a terrific actor, but I can think of other black actors who would do it better,” he said. “For me, Idris Elba is a bit too rough to play the part. It’s not a colour issue. I think he is probably a bit too ‘street’ for Bond. Is it a question of being suave? Yeah.”
I’m not sure what “too street” means, but I would hope that Horowitz knows that Elba isn’t actually Stringer Bell. However, in fairness to the writer, he did offer up Adrian Lester (“Hustle“) as his preferred choice.
But Horowitz didn’t stop his nitpicking of the movie series from there, and he put Sam Mendes‘ “Skyfall” in his crosshairs. “‘Skyfall’ is my least favourite. I know it is heresy to say so, but it is the one Bond film I have never liked,” he said. “Bond is weak in it. He has doubts. That’s not Bond. Secondly, the villain wins. The villain sets out to kill M — the film finishes with the villain killing M. So why have I watched it? And if you have to protect the Head of MI6 from a madman, do you take her to a Scottish farmhouse with no weapons? And tell your bad guy where you are, so he will arrive with six people to kill her? And then M escapes and stands on top of a hill waving a torch to tell them where she is! It’s that sort of thing that made me angry.”
I have to say, Horowitz’s criticisms of that movie are entirely offbase, particularly when it comes to the plotting, but generally speaking, he doesn’t seem to be a fan of Bond being tortured and conflicted, and doesn’t hold much excitement for “Spectre.”
“I’m looking at the trailer and I am seeing a photograph of Bond’s family. The mum and the dad are in there and their faces are missing because the picture has been burned in a fire. This is going to be to do with his family background, and I know the fans are all terribly excited to know more, but I’m saying, ‘Don’t tell me, I don’t want to know,’ ” he said. “I don’t want to know about his doubts, his insecurities or weaknesses. I just want to see him act, kill, win.”
However, Horowitz does like Craig and believes “Casino Royale” is the best post-Sean Connery 007 movies, so he might be a bit bummed to learn that Craig may be hanging it up after “Spectre.”
Indeed, we shall. “Spectre” opens on November 6th.
Update: Anthony Horowitz has issued an apology regarding his comments about Idris Elba.
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