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David Oyelowo to Voice James Bond in New Audiobook Role

"I am officially the only person on planet Earth who can legitimately say: ‘I am the new James Bond.’"

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According to The Guardian, Selma‘s David Oyelowo has been selected by the Ian Fleming estate to voice Bond (and other characters) in the upcoming audiobook adaptation of Trigger Mortis.

Oyelowo, who in a 2000 Royal Shakespeare Company production of Henry the VI became the first-ever black actor to play a Shakespearean English king in a major production, told The Guardian:

I am officially the only person on planet Earth who can legitimately say: ‘I am the new James Bond’ – even saying that name is the cinematic equivalent of doing the ‘to be or not to be’ speech.

[…] I was asked specifically by the Fleming estate, which is really special.

Although Oyelowo received hate mail for his role in Henry the VI, he told The Guardian that “you’d hope that wouldn’t be the case now,” and went on to talk about the importance of representation in the media:

It’s how few times we get to be the protagonist … and how few times the world is seen through our eyes. [If a young child] is always seeing [black characters] as on the periphery … that’s going to be his world view, that someone like [that] is always on the periphery – and, by virtue of that fact, less important.

Oyelowo will be only the second-ever black actor to play James Bond in any medium; a 2012 audiobook was narrated by Hugh Quarshie.

Idris Elba was rumored earlier this year to be the next actor in line to play film Bond once Daniel Craig retires from the part. Predictably, the mere rumor of Elba’s casting resulted in racist comments (and some ineffective backpedaling) from prominent members of the film industry.

(image via Shutterstock)

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