After accepting a personal invitation from the Ian Fleming estate, David Oyelowo is now the first black actor set to play James Bond. The Guardian reports that Oyelowo will voice Bond, as well as a slew of other characters, in a forthcoming audiobook version of Trigger Mortis. “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,” Oyelowo said. (That’s a fun quote because, as The Guardian points out, Oyelowo was also the first black actor to play an English monarch in a major Shakespeare play, Henry VI.)
Trigger is an official 007 novel, commissioned by the Fleming estate and written by Anthony Horowitz (oh, and very much approved by Fleming’s niece Lucy, who says “[it’s] almost as if Ian had written [Trigger Mortis] himself”). The book, set in the 1950s, reportedly will involve the Soviet-American Space Race and will revive the famous Bond character Pussy Galore. Oyelowo said his fresh take on Bond will show “a man who is very self-assured,” yet imperfect. It would be nice to see that on the big screen. As Daniel Craig nears the end of his Bond tenure, people are still screaming for Idris Elba; however, if the Trigger reception is good, it might make sense to have Oyelowo do some overtime. (Wishful thinking?) Regardless, Trigger’s out September 8.