ENTERTAINMENT

Judi Dench Names Co-Star Who'd Make 'A Brilliant' James Bond

He's already heavily rumored for the role.

Dame Judi Dench is backing Idris Elba to be the next James Bond.

Rumors have swirled for years that Elba, 46, is in the running to replace Daniel Craig and become the first black 007.

Academy Award-winner Dench — who played spymaster M in the Bond movies until the death of her character in 2012’s “Skyfall” — threw her support behind the star of “The Wire” and “Luther” in a new interview with Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper published Friday.

Oh I think he would be a brilliant Bond,” Dench said of Elba, whom she worked alongside in the upcoming film version of composer Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical “Cats.”

Dench also revealed how the pair shared a Bond-themed joke on set:

“When we filmed ‘Cats’ he kept saying to me ‘Will you send me to the Heaviside Layer?’ And at one point I turned to him and said: ‘No – I’ll send you to MI6’.”

Elba has previously played down speculation that he’ll portray the fictional British spy. Last August, he responded to a reporter’s question about being the next 007 with just one word: “No.” He didn’t help matters, however, when he teased fans with this image and Bond-themed caption on Twitter:

In January 2018, Elba said he was “interested in having a Bond character other than being a male.”

It could be a woman, it could be a black woman, it could be a white woman,” he told Variety. “But I think that character, everyone would like to see [filmmakers] do something different with it, you know. Why not?”

Four years earlier, he said the rumor that started following the leak of emails from the cyber hack on Sony Pictures was “really starting to eat itself” and claimed that “if there was ever any chance of me getting Bond, it’s gone.”

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