English actor David Oyelowo has been selected to play James Bond – in an audiobook version of a brand new 007 novel penned by Anthony Horowitz. The book, titled ‘Trigger Mortis’, has been commissioned by the Ian Fleming estate and will be released on September 8th.

The Guardian reported on Thursday (August 13th) that the 39 year old was “very honoured” to be offered the role by the Fleming estate itself, describing it as “really special”. Oyelowo has some form in playing security service agents, portraying MI5 officer Danny Hunter in the BBC spy drama ‘Spooks’.

David OyelowoDavid Oyelowo will voice James Bond in the audiobook version of 'Trigger Mortis'

“I am officially the only person on planet Earth who can legitimately say ‘I am the new James Bond’,” the Selma actor said in reaction to the news. “Even saying that name is the cinematic equivalent of doing the ‘to be or not to be’ speech.”

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Meanwhile, the rumours about Idris Elba becoming the first black actor to portray 007 on the big screen when Daniel Craig quits refuse to die down, despite Elba himself denying any knowledge about it. Oyelowo was asked about whether Elba would be suitable, to which he said ‘The Wire’ actor was “ripe” for selection and had “all the qualities that you’d want in a James Bond”.

He also said that such a casting would have a ground-breaking effect for black actors in the wider film and entertainment industry. “Because films and TV affect culture, a black Bond would be a cultural event, a statement, beyond just entertainment,” he continued.

Oyelowo became the first black actor to play an English king in a Shakespeare production when he was cast as Henry VI in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s version back in 2001. Asked about whether there was a credibility problem inherent in casting in black actors to play such parts in historical adaptations, Oyelowo replied: “[one academic] said that we open ourselves to ridicule if we allow black people to play English kings when English kings have never been black. But I’ve never seen an Egyptian play Cleopatra… so it’s a nonsensical statement.”

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