Idris Elba is to be cast as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in a new spy thriller set during the height of The Cold War.

The favourite of many to replace Daniel Craig as the next James Bond, Elba said he was “excited and uplifted” by the script and looked forward to starting filming next month.

Due for release in late 2019, Czech Mate will tell the story of a Czech intelligence officer sent to the UK in 1986 on a mission to recruit British collaborators. The movie will claim that attempts to recruit the then 37 year-old MP for Islington North were unsuccessful, but did result in the pair bonding over their shared love of bespoke elbow patches, jam-making and Marxist socialism.

“Idris is used to playing tough, enigmatic, no-nonsense characters, so this will be a real challenge for him,” Elba’s agent told the Herald.

“He likes to think of himself as a method actor though, so he’s spent the past couple of months sitting on the floor of Virgin trains, failing to confront anti-Semitism, and refusing to come up with a coherent alternative to the Tory government’s current Brexit strategy.

“He suffered a couple of corduroy burns during the first week but since then his only complaint has been the love letters and worn knickers he’s being sent by fanatic trade unionists.”

The casting has been broadly welcomed by fans of both Corbyn and Elba, though some on the Left have criticised the producers for shying away from other minority actors.

“Whilst we welcome the decision to cast an actor of colour in the role of a white person, it is typical of Hollywood’s patriarchal bias that a heterosexual cis-male has been selected to play another heterosexual cis-male,” said student activist, Gemima Clutton-Smyth.

“There are plenty of disabled, non-binary and pansexual actors who would have been ideal for this role, and it’s disappointing that they’ve been overlooked in favour of someone who just happens to have massive box office appeal.”

Meanwhile, the studio producing the film has dismissed rumours that Charlize Theron has been chosen to play a young Diane Abbott.