Dynamic duos are hard to come by, and actor Jeffrey Wright would know a thing or two about that very fact. Just as the actor is coming off of his run as Felix Leiter in the Daniel Craig era of James Bond movies, he finds himself aiding Robert Pattinson’s Caped Crusader of Gotham in The Batman. While the timing seems so perfect it had to be planned, that’s not exactly why Wright took his exit along with Craig.
As he promoted his new role of Jim Gordon in this weekend’s box office frontrunner, Wright recounted how the end of an era marked the closing of a chapter in his acting history. Playing the role of James Bond’s CIA counterpart since Casino Royale’s introduction to the Craig era, the symmetry was so undeniable that Jeffrey Wright noted it as follows, in his interview with THR:
“Appropriate” is one way of putting it, as No Time To Die saw both Felix Leiter and James Bond dying in the name of saving the world. Both operatives would sacrifice their lives to take down Rami Malek’s villainous Safin in the 25th Bond movie, with Felix being betrayed by his supposed ally Logan Ash (Billy Magnussen). Meanwhile, Commander Bond’s bittersweet end would come thanks to the story’s explosive ending, which took out Ian Fleming’s superspy in the name of protecting those he loved.
On the surface, it makes a lot of sense for Jeffrey Wright and Daniel Craig to leave after No Time To Die, as the era of continuity that was cemented in Quantum of Solace would seem to dictate that. However, that hasn’t always been the case in the past, as one actor did manage to play Felix Leiter to two different Bonds. That distinction goes to the late David Hedison, who partnered with Roger Moore in Live and Let Die and Timothy Dalton in License To Kill.
In his three movie run as Felix, Jeffrey Wright made history as the first actor to consistently show up as the character for one 007, and for the most films. While other cast members like Naomie Harris are both holding out hope to return, but also suggesting killer successors for their posts, it sounds like Wright has made his exit final. Leaving behind his own killer reinvention of a classic Bond fixture, it’s going to be just as hard finding the next Felix Leiter as it will be hunting down the next 007.
Just as you’d expect, there’s no new information on when we’ll find out who that next James Bond will be. Though if you go by the latest James Bond betting odds at the time of this writing, some clear favorites have made themselves known. If you want to see more of Jeffrey Wright, you can catch him opposite Robert Pattinson in The Batman, which is in theaters now.
CinemaBlend’s James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.