Speaking to the TV show Good Morning America, Elba, 43, cited his age as the key reason he felt he wasn’t a contender. “I think I’m too old for that – running around in cars and ladies and martinis,” he said.
“Who wants to do that?” Elba continued with a smile. “Sounds terrible.”
The actor said he’d had no discussions with Sony Pictures about taking over the role from Daniel Craig, who has not officially retired as Bond, but had been struck by the level of public support. “[It’s] the wildest rumour in the world,” said Elba. “I keep saying if it were to happen it would be the will of a nation, because there hasn’t been any talks between me and the studio about any of that. But everywhere I go people want that to happen.”
Elba’s chief competition is still reckoned to be fellow Brit Tom Hiddleston, with TV graduates Aidan Turner and James Norton also tipped for the role. All are about a decade younger than Elba.
The average age of an actor making their debut as Bond is just over 40 years old. David Niven was 57 when he made his one and only appearance in the role in 1967’s Casino Royale; Roger Moore was that age for his last Bond outing in 1985’s A View to a Kill.
• This article was amended on 22 July 2016. The original got Bond wrong by confusing Sean Connery with Roger Moore. This has been corrected.
This article was written by Catherine Shoard, for theguardian.com on Friday 22nd July 2016 10.53 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010