Judi Dench liked to tease Idris Elba that he'd never make it into MI6 while shootoing their latest movie Cats. But now the actress thinks Idris Elba might have a good shot at becoming the next James Bond actor. The actress co-stars with the actor in the upcoming big screen adaptation of the hit Broadway musical opening this December. Daniel Craig is playing the iconic MI6 agent one last time in the upcoming No Time to Die. So the role will be up for grabs in the near future. There has been speculation about the possibility of a female taking over the role, but Elba's name has come up more than once over the years.

In a recent interview, Judi Dench talked about teasing Idris Elba on the set of Cats. "I knew he was up for (Bond)," says the actress. "In Cats I had the line to him 'You'll never get into Heaviside Layer', but during rehearsals I said, 'You'll never get into MI6.'" However, after revealing her 007 joke, she then said, "But, I think he might." A lot of people seem to think Elba is the right man for the job. Dench would know, since she has played M, aka Olivia Mansfield, in the franchise since 1997.

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According to Ladbrokes, an English online gambling site, the statistics favor Idris Elba far above the second-choice actor, Tom Hiddleston. As for actually starring in the next Bond movie, Elba claims that he has never spoken to anybody about it officially. With that being said, there have been some fans who don't want to see the actor in the role, mainly due to race. Elba had this to say.

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

On the opposite side of the spectrum, Idris Elba would love to take on the role of James Bond. "James Bond is a hugely coveted, iconic, beloved character, that takes audiences on this massive escapism journey," says the actor. "Of course, if someone said to me 'Do you want to play James Bond?,' I'd be like, Yeah!" With that being said, Elba doesn't want to do it just to become the first African American to play the character on the big screen. He wants to do it to become the next 007.

Cats star Idris Elba is clearly a fan-favorite candidate to take over for Daniel Craig after No Time to Die hits theaters. Elba's name has been thrown around for years, even before Craig signed on for the next movie. Many fans were under the assumption that Craig would never return to the role after not having such a great experience last time around. Whatever the case may be, he is officially done with the role very soon, which means an announcement about the new Bond will be made soon. You can watch the interview with Judi Dench below, thanks to the Graham Norton Show YouTube channel.