Anthony Horowitz said Elba was 'too street' to play 007

Credit: Didier Baverel/WireImage

UPDATE: Anthony Horowitz has released a statement on Twitter apologizing.

“I’m really sorry my comments about Idris Elba have caused offence,” he wrote. “That wasn’t my intention. I was asked in my interview if Idris Elba would make a good James Bond. In the article I expressed the opinion that to my mind Adrian Lester would be a better choice but I’m a writer not a casting director so what do I know? Clumsily, I chose the word ‘street’ as Elba’s gritty portrayal of DCI John Luther was in my mind but I admit it was a poor choice of word. I am mortified to have caused offence.”

EARLIER: There’s been a campaign to cast Idris Elba as the next James Bond since just about forever, but according to the author of a new 007 novel, Elba may be “a bit too street for Bond.”

In an interview with The Daily Mail, author Anthony Horowitz discussed everything from Daniel Craig (“a terrific Bond”) to the trailer for the upcoming Spectre (“I don’t want to know about his doubts, his insecurities, or weaknesses”). He also weighed in on who might take over the iconic role next, and made clear that Elba wouldn’t be his choice.

“Idris Elba is a terrific actor, but I can think of other black actors who would do it better,” Horowitz said. “For me, Idris Elba is a bit too rough to play the part. It’s not a color issue. I think he is probably a bit too ‘street’ for Bond. Is it a question of being suave? Yeah.”

Instead of Elba, Horowitz suggested Adrian Lester, who starred in the British series Hustle.

Horowitz also skewered several of the recent Daniel Craig films, saying he liked Casino Royale, but “Quantum of Solace just went wrong” and Skyfall was even worse.

“Bond is weak in it,” Horowitz said about Skyfall. “He has doubts. That’s not Bond. Secondly, the villain wins. The villain sets out to kill M — the film finishes with the villain killing M. So why have I watched it?”

Horowitz is the author of the Alex Rider series of young adult novels, which follow a teenage British spy. The Bond estate recruited Horowitz to write a new 007 adventure in the vein of Ian Fleming’s original novels, and Horowitz’s Bond debut, Trigger Mortis, will be released Sept. 8. The audio version of that new novel will feature David Oyelowo as Bond.

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