Idris Elba is one of the biggest stars in the world, and as such, he's constantly having his name floated for roles in some of the biggest franchises around. He's now breaking into the Fast and Furious franchise with the spinoff film Hobbs & Shaw, but there's been one role in particular fans have wanted to see Elba play: James Bond.
Rumors that Irdis Elba was being considered to play the first black James Bond by 007 producers set the Internet on fire, and brought out a lot of trolls in the process. Before long, Elba seemed to be over all talk of playing Bond - and according to his Hobbs & Shaw co-star Dwayne Johnson, he's still feeling some kind of way about it.
The Rock revealed to Variety that Hobbs & Shaw's now-famous line about Elba's villain, Brixton, being "Black Superman" was originally something very different: it was supposed to be "I'm black James Bond."
However, as Johnson further revealed, it was Elba himself who ultimately nixed the line, stating, “It’s too close to what everybody’s talking about."
The joke would've been a very on-the-nose reference to the "controversy" surrounding the whole James Bond casting question regarding Elba - not to mention a nice bit of shade to eclipse all those trolls out there. However, the "I'm Black Superman" line hs become an instant hit with audiences, so it's all worked out for the best, in this particular case of script revision.
...Or perhaps "script revision" isn't the right term. According to Dwayne Johnson, there's a bit of murky memory amongst the Hobbs & Shaw cast and crew regarding who actually concocted the "Black Superman" line in the first place. According to Johnson:
"Everyone loves ‘the black Superman’ line. Everyone’s taking credit for it – Idris, our director, our producers, I’m sure, Jason [Statham]…[but] I came up with that,” Johnson said. “I said, ‘What about the black Superman?’’ And everyone’s like, ‘Great!’ [But] now everyone takes credit.”
According to Elba, however, "The line was just improvised. I was in one of these takes and I was really riffing, and then it came out and [director David Leitch] loved it, and so we kept it.”0comments
Hobbs & Shaw producer Hiram Garcia tends to lean towards Elba's version of the story, recalling that, "Elba] just shouted it out. He was talking trash, shouted it out, and we said, ‘This is incredible!’ [The line] was his… so he ran with it. He loved it, and that line really stuck, and we’re so happy the fans responded to it.”
You can see Idris Elba become "Black Superman" in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, in theaters on August 2nd.