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Idris Elba explains why James Bond role would be 'difficult'

While he'd jump at the opportunity to play the famous character, Elba's worried the public reaction would be based on his ethnicity rather than his skill.

FILE: Idris Elba. Picture: @idriselba/Twitter.

LONDON - Idris Elba would jump at the idea of playing James Bond but he's worried he'll receive backlash because of the colour of his skin.

The Luther star has been tipped to take over as the iconic spy from Daniel Craig - which would make him the first black actor to nab the part - since the 51-year-old hunk announced his decision to hang up his gun back in 2016 but, although he'd jump at the opportunity to play the famous character, he's worried the public reaction would be based on his ethnicity rather than his skill.

Speaking to Vanity Fair magazine, the 46-year-old actor explained: "James Bond is a hugely coveted, iconic, beloved character, that takes audiences on this massive escapism journey.

"Of course, if someone said to me, 'Do you want to play James Bond?' I'd be like, 'Yeah!'

"That's fascinating to me. But it's not something I've expressed, like, 'Yeah, I wanna be the black James Bond'. You just get disheartened when you get people from a generational point of view going, 'It can't be'. And it really turns out to be the colour of my skin.

"Then if I get it and it didn't work, or it did work, would it be because of the colour of my skin? That's a difficult position to put myself into when I don't need to."

Bond 25 - Craig's last appearance in the role - is currently being filmed in Jamaica but production was temporarily suspended last month when the Skyfall star accidentally slipped whilst shooting a running scene for the action blockbuster and injured his ankle.

Craig recently underwent "minor" surgery on his foot followed by two weeks of rehabilitation in the US after he was seen by the same surgeon who has treated England striker Harry Kane.

Despite the unexpected hold up, producers of Bond 25 are adamant the film is still on track for a April 2020 release date.

Richard Madden and Tom Hiddleston are also being lined up to play the iconic suave spy.

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