Now the actor has had his say – and he’s done nothing to deny the rumours.
“Isn’t 007 supposed to [be] handsome? Glad you think I’ve got a shot! Happy New year people,” he tweeted, along with a picture of himself.
Current star, Daniel Craig, is committed to just one more movie.
Reports about the leaked Sony Pictures Entertainment emails suggest that a message from chairman Amy Pascal read: “Idris should be the next Bond.”
Pascal was thought to be emailing Elizabeth Cantillon, the former executive vice president of production for Columbia Pictures – which distributes the Bond franchise.
There has been no confirmation from Sony Pictures that the actor will be the next 007.
Earlier this week, conservative US talk show host Rush Limbaugh criticised the rumours, saying that because the original author Ian Fleming wrote James Bond as “a white [man] from Scotland”, the character should not be played by a black actor.
“That’s not who James Bond is, and I know it’s racist to probably even point this out,” he said.
Elba, 42, has previously said he would like to play Bond.
During a Reddit AMA in September he responded to a fan’s question of whether he’d be willing to take the role, writing: “Yes, if it was offered to me, absolutely.”
Daniel Craig is currently filming upcoming Bond movie, Spectre.