The Rock says that Idris Elba vetoed a black James Bond joke when they were shooting Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson revealed to Variety that Hobbs & Shaw‘s now-famous line about Elba’s villain, Brixton, being “Black Superman” was originally something very different: it was supposed to be “I’m black James Bond.”
However, as Johnson further revealed, it was Elba himself who ultimately nixed the line, stating, “It’s too close to what everybody’s talking about.”
According to The Rock, there’s a bit of murky memory amongst the Hobbs & Shaw cast and crew regarding who actually concocted the “Black Superman” line in the first place. According to Johnson:
“Everyone loves ‘the black Superman’ line. Everyone’s taking credit for it – Idris, our director, our producers, I’m sure, Jason [Statham]…[but] I came up with that,” Johnson said. “I said, ‘What about the black Superman?’’ And everyone’s like, ‘Great!’ [But] now everyone takes credit.”
According to Elba, however, “The line was just improvised. I was in one of these takes and I was really riffing, and then it came out and [director David Leitch] loved it, and so we kept it.”
Elba, of course, has been a popular fan pick to play the next iteration of Bond after Daniel Craig for years now, despite the actor having claimed many times over that it’s purely a rumor and nothing more.
Ironically, Johnson thinks black Superman could become a reality in the foreseeable future, and we might have Hobbs & Shaw to thank for it.