British actor Idris Elba has laughed off rumours he is set to be the next James Bond after a Sony Pictures boss suggested him as a replacement for Daniel Craig in a leaked email.

The Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom star has long been considered a frontrunner to replace Craig when he eventually steps down from the film series, and a leaked email released as part of the recent Sony database hack appeared to confirm him as a potential 007.

In the note from Sony's co-chairman Amy Pascal to Elizabeth Cantillon, former executive vice president of the firm which distributes the Bond films, the movie chief simply states, "Idris should be the next Bond," sparking both support and criticism from fervent fans.

Elba has now reacted to Pascal's leaked email, taking to to post a picture of himself pulling a silly face, along with the caption, "Isn't 007 supposed to handsome? Glad you think I've got a shot! Happy New year people."

The actor previously spoke about the possibility of playing Bond back in 2011, telling America's National Public Radio, saying, "I just don't want to be the black James Bond. Sean Connery wasn't the Scottish James Bond, and Daniel Craig wasn't the blue-eyed James Bond, so if I played him, I don't want to be called the black James Bond."