The world will soon meet the first mainstream black James Bond, but the man portraying 007 will not be actor Idris Elba, who has long been rumored as a possible candidate for the role.
“Selma” actor David Oyelowo was announced Wednesday as the latest in a long line of actors to play the role the British secret agent, albeit the actor will not be portraying Ian Fleming’s famed character on film.
The Guardian reports Fleming’s estate requested Oyelowo’s voice to play Bond and several other characters in the upcoming audiobook version of “Trigger Mortis,” a novel by Anthony Horowitz, which will be published September 8.
“Trigger Mortis” was commissioned by Fleming’s estate, and will pick up where “Goldfinger” left off in 1957.
A “very honored” Oyelowo said of the role: “I am officially the only person on planet Earth who can legitimately say: ‘I am the new James Bond’ – even saying that name is the cinematic equivalent of doing the ‘to be or not to be’ speech.”
He also decribed being specifically picked by the Fleming estate as “really special.”
Horowitz said in a statement to The Guardian: “What an honor to have an actor as talented as David to read my take on Bond. He has a brilliant voice and talent for bringing out the nuances of dialogue and characters.”
While black actor Hugh Quarshie played Bond on the audiobook version of “Dr No” in 2012, Oyelowo will be the first mainstream black actor to do so.
Oyelowo was born in the U.K. to Nigerian parents.