In Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (full title only, please), Idris Elba plays Brixton Lore, a cyber-genetically enhanced international terrorist leader and a criminal mastermind who refers to himself as Black Superman. That wasn’t his original self-given nickname, though. In a recent interview with Variety, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, the Hobbs to Jason Statham’s Shaw, revealed that Elba was first asked to proclaim that he’s “black James Bond,” but he nixed the idea, because “it’s too close to what everybody’s talking about.”
The “what everybody’s talking about” is the incessant rumor that Idris Elba will be the next James Bond, once Daniel Craig is done filling his vault with bags of money. The Wire star doesn’t sound like he’s interested, so Black Superman is a better fit. There is, however, some confusion over who came up with the line. The Rock claims he did (“I said, ‘What about the black Superman?’ And everyone’s like, ‘Great!’ [But] now everyone takes credit”), but Elba disagrees.
“That line was just improvised,” Elba told Variety. “I was in one of these takes and I was really riffing, and then it came out and [director David Leitch] loved it, and so we kept it.” [Producer Hiram Garcia] concurred: “[Elba] just shouted it out. He was talking trash, shouted it out, and we said, ‘This is incredible!’ [The line] was his… so he ran with it.” (Via)
I bet Helen Mirren, as Shaw’s mom, came up with the line. Case closed.
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw opens on August 2.