Idris Elba has put the dampeners on rumours he is set to play James Bond – but it has only fuelled speculation he is taking over the role.
The Luther star has long been thought to be in the running to play 007 after Daniel Craig, and on Sunday he sent the rumour mill into overdrive by sharing a selfie of the top half of his face with the caption: “My name’s Elba, Idris Elba.”
Fans were convinced Elba’s use of Bond’s phrase meant he was set to play the suave spy.
However, he followed it up with a picture of the group Public Enemy and then tweeted the title of one of their songs: “Don’t believe the HYPE.”
While Elba may have intended his words to quash the speculation around the possible casting, it has added fuel to the fire.
Fans have suggested the cryptic message refers to the villains Elba may face as 007.
“Are HYPE the criminal organisation you have to take down, 007?” asked one person on Twitter.
“I know you can defeat HYPE 007!” said another, adding the hashtag “#specialagentelba”.
The fact that the word “HYPE” was in capitals lead some to suggest it could be the title of the Bond film.
“Wait… HYPE in caps? Is this an acronym? Is he alluding to the new Bond title?” said one.
“Love that title,” posted another.
Craig will reprise the role of the spy with the licence to kill for the 25th film in the franchise, which will be directed by Danny Boyle.
Production is due to begin in December and it is due to be released in 2019.