87th Annual Academy Awards - Press RoomBritish novelist Anthony Horowitz is the latest writer to take a crack at the James Bond franchise, and will publish his first 007 novel, "Trigger Mortis," next week. Unfortunately for Horowitz, that accomplishment has been overshadowed by some inflammatory comments that the author made in reference to actor Idris Elba.

In an interview with The Daily Mail that went live over the weekend, Horowitz was asked about the long-running rumor that Elba will take over the Bond franchise from current star Daniel Craig once Craig finishes his five-film contract. In the wide-ranging interview, Horowitz made it known that he had some strong opinions about Bond's big screen exploits, and that included criticizing the popular choice to replace Craig.

"Idris Elba is a terrific actor, but I can think of other black actors who would do it better," Horowitz told The Daily Mail, citing actor Adrian Lester as his top pick. "For me, Idris Elba is a bit too rough to play the part. It's not a colour issue. I think he is probably a bit too 'street' for Bond. Is it a question of being suave? Yeah."

That last bit may be especially puzzling to anyone who's ever seen Elba act (or look gorgeous in a tux, like in the above photo), but what really ground the internet's gears was the implied racism of Horowitz's remarks, specifically the use of the term "street." Popular opinion was unkind to the author, forcing him to apologize for and clarify his remarks in a Twitter post on Tuesday.

"I'm really sorry my comments about Idris Elba have caused offence. That wasn't my intention," Horowitz's tweeted statement said. "I was asked in my interview if Idris Elba would make a good James Bond. In the article, I expressed the opinion that to my mind Adrian Lester would be a better choice but I'm a writer not a casting director so what do I know? Clumsily, I chose the word 'street' as Elba's gritty portrayal of DCI John Luther was in my mind but I admit it was a poor choice of word. I am mortified to have caused offence."

No word from Elba, though Marvel had this perfect response to the controversy:

[via: The Daily Mail, Anthony Horowitz, h/t The A.V. Club]

Photo credit: Getty Images