James Bond author Anthony Horowitz sorry for calling Idris Elba too 'street' to be 007

Author Anthony Horowitz, who penned the latest book in the James Bond series, sparked an online ruckus when he called Idris Elba, the British actor made famous by his role as Stringer Bell in The Wire, too "street" to play the next 007.

Author of latest book in James Bond series issues apology after sparking online furor

Actor Idris Elba poses on the red carpet before a screening of the 2013 film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom at the Toronto International Film Festival. There are rumours he might be the next James Bond. (Jon Blacker/Reuters)

Author Anthony Horowitz, who penned the latest book in the James Bond series, sparked an online ruckus by pooh-poohing Idris Elba, the British actor many would love to see as the next 007 on screen.

The bestselling writer behind the Alex Rider teen spy novels apologized in a statement and said he was "mortified to have caused offence" for his "poor choice of word."

In an interview with the British newspaper The Mail about his new 007 novel Trigger Mortis (for which Ian Fleming's estate hired him to write), Horowitz candidly laid out his views on the movie adaptations.

"Daniel Craig is a terrific Bond. Casino Royale is probably my favourite. Of the films after [Sean] Connery, it is easily the best. Fantastic. A total return to the gritty seriousness of it," he said.

Anthony Horowitz, the bestselling author behind the Alex Rider teen spy series, came under fire for suggesting Elba wasn't right for the role of 007. (Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)

However, "Quantum Of Solace just went wrong. Skyfall is my least favourite. I know it is heresy to say so, but it is the one Bond film I have never liked."

He also blasted the trailer for the 24th James Bond film produced by Eon Productions, Spectre featuring Craig, and offered his opinion on Elba — widely considered a favourite — as a potential next Bond after Craig.

"Idris Elba is a terrific actor, but I can think of other black actors who would do it better," Horowitz told the paper, naming classically trained British actor Adrian Lester as an example.

"For me, Idris Elba is a bit too rough to play the part. It's not a colour issue. I think he is probably a bit too 'street' for Bond. Is it a question of being suave? Yeah."

Online, the slight sparked an uproar.

Elba has earned praise and seen his status skyrocket after earning critical acclaim for TV's The Wire and Luther, as well as for his adaptability, having starred in serious films such as Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom as well as populist fare like Prometheus and Pacific Rim.

The actor himself has repeatedly said reports he would be the next Bond were just rumours.


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