Could Idris Elba be the new James Bond? The performer was an early favorite for the part but was almost out of the running recently.

Most recently, he seemed out of contention for the 007 part. But now the chances for Idris Elba (49) to become the new James Bond could increase. As “The Sun” reports, the Brit with African roots is said to have done well in a market research test.

“Discussions have resumed about him starring,” an anonymous source told The Sun. “The producers realized after a secret market research how popular he would be.” Elba did well in the diverse field of test subjects.

Idris Elbas Odyssey as Bond Candidate

Idris Elba’s prospects to succeed Daniel Craig (54) have plummeted in recent months. Barbara Broccoli (61), producer and chief guardian of the Bond brand, had confirmed that there had been talks with Elba. However, she didn’t want to commit herself.

The “Suicide Squad” star seemed to have resigned recently. In an interview, Elba described herself as too old for the role. “Nobody wants to see Bond chasing people or beating up people when they’re 60,” said the almost 50-year-old, referring to a long-term commitment. He seemed resigned to it and instead flirted with a role as a villain in the next 007 adventure.

Idris Elba also fell with the bookmakers. Started as an early favorite in the race, he now ranks behind “Bridgerton” star Regé-Jean Page (34), “The Witcher” Henry Cavill (39), Aidan Turner (38, “Poldark”) and the movie stars with most betting providers Michael Fassbender (45) and Tom Hardy (44).