David Oyelowo is set to become the first black James Bond — sort of.
The British actor will read the audiobook version of “Trigger Mortis,” which was written by Anthony Horowitz and commissioned by the Ian Fleming estate, the Guardian reported Thursday.
Oyelowo, who was highly praised for his portrayal of Martin Luther King, Jr. in “Selma,” will play 007 and other characters in the official Bond book set for release Sept. 8.
The announcement comes amidst recent debate as to whether a black actor — such as rumored frontrunner Idris Elba — would ever be cast as the famous British spy currently played by Daniel Craig.
Oyelowo previously played Henry VI for the Royal Shakespeare Company, which made him the first black actor to play an English king in a major Shakespeare production, and MI5 officer Danny Hunter in the BBC TV drama “Spooks.”
“I am officially the only person on planet Earth who can legitimately say: ‘I am the new James Bond’ — even saying that name is the cinematic equivalent of doing the ‘to be or not to be’ speech,” Oyelowo, who was born in Oxford, England, to Nigerian parents, said of his new honor.
“I was asked specifically by the Fleming estate, which is really special.”
As for Craig, he will return to the big screen as Bond in “Spectre” when it debuts in U.S, theaters on Nov. 6.
The film from MGM, which is the 24th Bond film since 1962, also stars Monica Belluci, Ralph Fiennes, Léa Seydoux, and Naomie Harris. Sam Mendes, who also directed “Skyfall,” returned to direct, with John Logan, Neal Purvis, and Robert Wade writing the screenplay.