Idris Elba James Bond
British actor Idris Elba could be the next James Bond, according to emails released in the hacking of the Sony Pictures corporation. Getty Images

British actor Idris Elba may have to get used to ordering his Martinis shaken, not stirred, after an email leaked in the Sony hack suggested that a top executive wants him to be the next James Bond.

In an email dated Jan. 4, Amy Pascal, chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment's motion pictures group, wrote to Elizabeth Cantillon, former executive vice president of production for Columbia Pictures, which distributes the Bond films, simply saying: “Idris should be the next bond,” according to a report from The Daily Beast.

There has been speculation for some time that Elba, 42, was a possible replacement when the current Bond, Daniel Craig, departs the franchise. A Facebook group called "We Want Idris Elba For James Bond" has 30,000 members.

Craig is currently filming “Spectre,” his fourth screen outing as the iconic British spy. He is contracted to appear in one more Bond film after “Spectre,” according to The Guardian.

Elba made his name in gritty HBO drama “The Wire,” and has gone on to appear in a number of high-profile Hollywood movies, including “Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom,” and “Pacific Rim.”

He has also previously expressed a desire to take up the role. In a Reddit AMA question-and-answer session, he told a poster who asked if he would accept the role: “Yes, if it was offered to me, absolutely.”

Elba would be the seventh actor to play the celebrated spy on the big screen, and the first black man to take the role.

The Bond movie franchise, which began in 1962, is one of the most successful in cinema history, bested only, in terms of box office receipts, by the Marvel Universe and Harry Potter films.