In 2015, while Idris Elba’s name had just started picking up steam for the part of the iconic British spy, the talented David Oyelowo (Selma, Gringo) snuck past him to become the first black James Bond. Granted, it was only a voice role, but it was still a pretty big deal.
The British-Nigerian actor was selected to voice 007 in the audiobook version of Trigger Mortis, an official Bond book written by Anthony Horowitz, and commissioned by the estate of late James Bond creator, Ian Fleming.
Trigger Mortis is set in 1957 against the backdrop of the Space Race, and begins two weeks after the events of Goldfinger. The story begins in the lethal world of Grand Prix and follows an attempt by the Russians to sabotage a race at Nürburgring, the most dangerous track in Europe.
Oyelowo’s voice casting was a direct invitation from the Ian Fleming estate, and the actor said he was “very honoured” to be chosen for the part. While it wasn’t the big screen black Bond we’re still clamouring for today, it was definitely a good first step.
Well, Oyelowo recently said he’d “consider” playing a live-action James Bond if the opportunity presented itself. While he joins Boyega, Ejiofor and Elba on the growing list of black actors who’ve been considered for the role, he’s the only one with actual experience playing the character.
Speaking about playing James Bond, Oyelowo said during a Reddit AMA for Gringo:
“Yes, I would consider it, but that doesn’t mean I would do it.
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.”
You can order the full audiobook here.