He made his name as Danny Hunter on the hit BBC series Spooks, but there could be an even bigger spy role to come for actor David Oyelowo: James Bond.
The 41-year-old has emerged as a shock late contender to replace Daniel Craig as 007, once Craig retires from the role after Bond 25.
Though Idris Elba was thought to be the studio’s first pick for the part, his age coupled with his increasing frustration at the endless questions concerning the role and the general lack of progress in casting the part may have put him off.
And with Sony bosses still thought to be keen on casting a black actor in the role of Bond, Oyelowo has emerged as a possible contender for the highly coveted role.
The London-born actor certainly has all the necessary experience, having impressed on Spooks. He’s also played the part of Bond previously as the voice of 007 on the popular audiobook Trigger Mortis.
Oyelowo will also be familiar to American audiences having wowed as Martin Luther King in Selma and, more recently, in the Amazon-produced crime caper The Gringo.
Speaking during a Reddit AMA, Oyelowo has also admitted that he’d consider the part if it was offered to him.
“Yes, I would consider it, but that doesn’t mean I would do it,” Oyelowo said. “I’m an actor who loves playing lots of different kinds of roles, and sometimes when you play such an iconic role, that can be a more challenging thing to do.”
Tom Hardy and James Norton remain among the favourites with the bookmakers, though it’s questionable as to whether either actor should be backed to land the part.
Hardy, for his part, is too high profile and would no doubt favour doing a more diverse range of films. He’s also likely to be busy on another franchise, having already signed on to play Eddie Brock in the upcoming Venom movie.
Norton, meanwhile, may have done his chances more harm than good following the lukewarm responses generated by his recent series McMafia.
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Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.