One of the most popular candidates to replace Daniel Craig as Bond is Idris Elba, with some fans and even his own mother hoping he would slip into the iconic tuxedo. But as time has worn on, those odds seemed to always keep Elba so close, and yet so far. And now it looks like Idris Elba is saying so long to his (and our) James Bond hopes, as the Luther movie he’s been promising is extremely close to taking off.

Variety spoke the man himself, and Elba had a promising update to give on the anticipated feature film continuing creator Neil Cross’ hit BBC drama. With Luther’s star still amped up to get back into one of his most iconic roles, Idris Elba is very optimistic about 2021 being the year that sees him return. And according to his statement below, here’s when we can expect production to start:

We go into production, fingers crossed, in September. I’m so excited about it, it’s been a long time coming. We’re very, very close to pulling the green light on production.

So what does the resurrection of Luther have to do with Idris Elba’s chances of being James Bond? Well, back when he last spoke about how his dear mother was still stoking the fires of his chances, he used his part in the franchise as his ultimate consolation to dismiss the conversation. It’s a small stretch, but with Luther getting ready to go in front of cameras this fall, it sounds like this is the final sign that Elba has moved on.

Even if the Luther movie doesn’t get the green light or somehow gets delayed, there’s no shortage of opportunities that could step into Idris Elba’s life that aren’t 007. The Suicide Squad and Hobbs and Shaw both have him already on deck for potential sequels, spinoffs, and what have you. That is, should those universes be able to call upon his talents yet again in the future.

Unfortunately, at 48 years old, Elba would be older than Roger Moore was when he accepted the role. With the post-Daniel Craig era presumably requiring a younger actor that can commit to several films, to be released at a more regular interval, Idris Elba’s James Bond candidacy may have come and gone. A fact that doesn’t seem lost on the actor, as he’s more focused on giving his Luther fans the warm welcome back they’ve been expecting for some time.

Idris Elba fans, you don’t have to wait for the Luther movie to return him to their screens, as he can currently be seen in Netflix’s Concrete Cowboy. And if you’ve already seen that title, there’s other excitement that awaits in the 2021 release schedule. Just don’t hold your breath for Mr. Elba to be ordering any martinis on screen any time soon.

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