British actor Idris Elba fuelled speculation on Sunday that he may be named the first black James Bond, with a cryptic tweet.
“My name’s Elba, Idris Elba,” he tweeted, echoing the super spy’s famous catchline, “The name is Bond, James Bond.”
The message sent fans into a frenzy of excitement, as rumours abound that Elba may be named to succeed Daniel Craig as the next incarnation of 007.
Elba, 45, made his name in gritty US television drugs drama The Wire and won a Golden Globe for his role as a murder detective in Luther, before moving to the big screen.
The son of a car factory worker from east London, he is now one of Hollywood’s most sought-after stars.
He has been in blockbusters such as Thor, Pacific Rim and Star Trek, and was nominated for a Golden Globe for playing the title role in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.
Elba has been linked to the Bond franchise for years, although he has previously said that he thought he might be too old.
Fresh rumours emerged this week amid reports that Bond producer Barbara Broccoli said it was now “time” for a black actor to take the role.
However, a spokesman for the alleged source of this quote, director Antoine Fuqua, told the Hollywood Reporter that he and Broccoli had never discussed Bond or casting.
Craig will return for the fifth time as Bond in 2019, in an as yet unnamed movie directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Danny Boyle.
It is expected to be Craig’s final outing as 007, having previously starred in Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall and Spectre.