Jeffrey Wright, who played Felix Leiter in two of the Daniel Craig era James Bond films, has teased his possible return to the franchise. The character of CIA operative Leiter has always been a significant part of the James Bond franchise. Leiter made his first-ever appearance in the very first Bond movie, Dr. No, and was a fixture of the series throughout the Sean Connery years. Leiter’s appearances became more sparse during the Roger Moore years, but he came back strong with appearances in both Timothy Dalton Bond films. Leiter vanished altogether during Pierce Brosnan’s Bond tenure but made a memorable return in the first two Craig Bonds, Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace.Over the course of the Bond franchise, it became sort of a tradition for Felix Leiter to never be played by the same actor twice, but that went out the door when Jeffrey Wright made his second appearance as the character in Quantum of Solace. Leiter disappeared for Skyfall and Spectre but now it appears the character will be returning for Bond 25.
Very little has been officially confirmed when it comes to the 25th entry in the Bond franchise, including whether Daniel Craig will even be back, but we now have a strong indication that Jeffrey Wright is on-board for his third appearance as Leiter. Wright posted this teaser on Twitter and Instagram and fans are now buzzing about the return of James Bond’s CIA sidekick:
Wright’s Felix Leiter was an integral part of Casino Royale, sitting with James Bond for the now-famous poker game against Mads Mikkelson’s Le Chiffre. Leiter was supposed to be a big part of Quantum of Solace but the character, and Wright’s screen-time, were both lost in the shuffle as the movie underwent massive rewrites. The character was only mentioned in Spectre and did not actually appear.
Of all the actors to play Leiter over the years, Wright has made arguably the most significant impact. Bernie Casey is very strong in the role in Never Say Never Again, and at least by virtue of his big name, Jack Lord is memorable in Dr. No. In the Timothy Dalton Bond film License to Kill, Bond actually went to attend Leiter’s wedding but the nuptials were interrupted when Leiter’s fiance was murdered and Leiter himself was maimed by being lowered into a shark tank by a supervillain. Sometimes being James Bond’s sidekick can be very dangerous.
With Wright seemingly returning for Bond 25, everyone will now want to know if Daniel Craig will be joining him. Last reports on Craig were that he was “close“ to being brought back. For what it’s worth, Miss Moneypenny actress Naomie Harris said she thinks there’s a “good chance“ Craig will return. We do know that Sam Mendes will not be back as director, but John Logan and Neil Purvis are returning as writers and producers promise a “relevant” story. Spectre villain Christoph Waltz and Bond Girl Léa Seydoux have reportedly been signed for both Bond 25 and Bond 26 just if Craig is back too.
Bond 25 does not have a release date. We’ll keep you updated on the latest information.