Idris Elba's James Bond tweet leaves fans shaken and stirred

A single tweet by Idris Elba has stoked a rush of speculation he may have landed the part of James Bond - before the actor looked to dampen down expectation.

The 45-year-old, who has long been rumoured to become the first black actor to play 007, tweeted: "My name's Elba, Idris Elba" on Sunday morning.

It generated tens of thousands of likes and thousands of retweets and comments before Elba posted an equally ambiguous "Don't believe the HYPE..." to calm his 2.5 million followers.

Elba's prospects of earning a screen licence to kill appeared to rise this week with reports 007 series movie producer Barbara Broccoli had endorsed a future 'black Bond'.

The Luther and The Wire star has previously expressed his interest in the role created by author Ian Fleming, which has always been played in the movies by white actors.

His provocative tweets early on Sunday sparked an animated reaction on social media that screen history was in the making:

But Elba's tweet a few hours later poured water on the excitement:

Which generated its own mix of anger and upset among his online followers:

Daniel Craig is set to fulfill his five-film contract with a runout in the next Bond film, which is scheduled for a October 2019 release.

Danny Boyle is directing the still-to-be-announced 25th installment in the series.

Danny Boyle will direct Daniel Craig in what is expected to be his final runout as 007. Credit: PA