Who could/should play Felix Leiter in the post-Craig era?

FatherValentineFatherValentine England
edited October 5 in Bond 26 & Beyond Posts: 711
This is a simple enough thread. Who should or could play Bond's CIA ally Felix Leiter in Bond 26 and in subsequent adventures.

Jeffrey Wright is a fantastic portrayal of Leiter in my opinion but given Bond 26 is likely to be a hard reboot, which actor (s) do you think could step into his shoes? Also, how much screen time and what sort of relationship with Bond would you like him to have?

I think Joel Edgerton would be a good choice.
I also think Billy Magnussen would have been good opposite a Bond actor about the same age, but he already plays a CIA agent in NTTD.
Or how about Jon Bernthal?
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Comments

  • DenbighDenbigh UK
    edited October 5 Posts: 4,610
    I'm 100% on board for Joel Edgerton. I think he'd be a great choice. I also think if they do go for a James Bond actor who's in his early to mid-30s, I think it'd be a really interesting and different dynamic to have Felix Leiter be a more seasoned agent than James Bond himself.
  • FatherValentineFatherValentine England
    Posts: 711
    Denbigh wrote: »
    I'm 100% on board for Joel Edgerton. I think he'd be a great choice. I also think if they do go for a James Bond actor who's in his early to mid-30s, I think it'd be a really interesting and different dynamic to have Felix Leiter be a more seasoned agent than James Bond himself.

    Confession @Denbigh. I stole your suggestion of Edgerton. You mentioned him on another thread and you convinced me how good he could be. I should have acknowledged that.
  • DenbighDenbigh UK
    Posts: 4,610
    Denbigh wrote: »
    I'm 100% on board for Joel Edgerton. I think he'd be a great choice. I also think if they do go for a James Bond actor who's in his early to mid-30s, I think it'd be a really interesting and different dynamic to have Felix Leiter be a more seasoned agent than James Bond himself.

    Confession @Denbigh. I stole your suggestion of Edgerton. You mentioned him on another thread and you convinced me how good he could be. I should have acknowledged that.
    Oh really? Haha. No that's fine :) I'm glad you're convinced by the suggestion.
  • FatherValentineFatherValentine England
    Posts: 711
    Denbigh wrote: »
    Denbigh wrote: »
    I'm 100% on board for Joel Edgerton. I think he'd be a great choice. I also think if they do go for a James Bond actor who's in his early to mid-30s, I think it'd be a really interesting and different dynamic to have Felix Leiter be a more seasoned agent than James Bond himself.

    Confession @Denbigh. I stole your suggestion of Edgerton. You mentioned him on another thread and you convinced me how good he could be. I should have acknowledged that.
    Oh really? Haha. No that's fine :) I'm glad you're convinced by the suggestion.

    I think you mentioned him during all those discussions about Chalamet and his performance in The King. Anyway, he's a good choice.
  • Jordo007Jordo007 Merseyside
    Posts: 933
    I think it depends who they cast as Bond, Craig and Wright were perfectly matched, probably best in the series you believe they were friends more so than just allies
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 8,352
    It depends what Felix is like, too: you can pretty much write any version of him. I guess ideally he has to be warm, but then Wright played him very cool, which was great. He's not exactly the most interesting or complex character in Fleming so I'm not too bothered if they're faithful to that original version or not.
  • Matthew McConaughey
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 8,352
    I think I'd prefer them to be vaguely around the same age though, the LTK age difference was a bit odd.
  • Posts: 12,592
    Alright, alright, alright!

    Matthew%20McConaughey%20interview%20gq%20october%202020.jpg

  • FatherValentineFatherValentine England
    Posts: 711
    Matthew McConaughey

    Good choice.
  • StirredNotShakenStirredNotShaken Searching for No Time to Die in the "Favourite Bond Film" section...
    Posts: 2,066
    Honestly if they wanted to skew Felix a little older, Josh Brolin would be a pretty terrific choice, but generally speaking I'd say Felix should usually be "American Bond" including in age, and since our next Bond will likely be in his early- to mid-30s, I wonder if Finn Wittrock isn't a half-bad idea for Felix.
  • DenbighDenbigh UK
    Posts: 4,610
    I mean as I said above I'm totally on board for a bit of an older Felix to create a fresh dynamic, but if I was to go for the American version of James Bond dynamic that @StirredNotShaken mentions - I'd go for Christopher Abbott.

    Possessor2.jpg
  • MakeshiftPythonMakeshiftPython "I want you looking FABULOUS."
    Posts: 4,705
    McConaughey would have been a great choice back in the day but he’s too old now.
  • FatherValentineFatherValentine England
    Posts: 711
    Denbigh wrote: »
    I mean as I said above I'm totally on board for a bit of an older Felix to create a fresh dynamic, but if I was to go for the American version of James Bond dynamic that @StirredNotShaken mentions - I'd go for Christopher Abbott.

    Possessor2.jpg

    Seems a tad baby faced but I don't know who he is so might just be the choice of still. He got an edge?
  • DenbighDenbigh UK
    edited October 5 Posts: 4,610
    Denbigh wrote: »
    I mean as I said above I'm totally on board for a bit of an older Felix to create a fresh dynamic, but if I was to go for the American version of James Bond dynamic that @StirredNotShaken mentions - I'd go for Christopher Abbott.

    Possessor2.jpg
    Seems a tad baby faced but I don't know who he is so might just be the choice of still. He got an edge?
    I can see that. He definitely has an edge though. This still is from a film called Possession. You should definitely check it out :)
  • Posts: 12,377
    When I first watched Breaking Bad, I liked the idea of Dean Norris as Felix, but he’s probably too old to do it opposite a 20/30 something Bond.

    I think it might be an idea to avoid Felix and SPECTRE for a while anyway, to help set the next guy apart from Craig. Give him some new allies (like how Brosnan had Zukofsky) and baddies.
  • StirredNotShakenStirredNotShaken Searching for No Time to Die in the "Favourite Bond Film" section...
    Posts: 2,066
    When I first watched Breaking Bad, I liked the idea of Dean Norris as Felix, but he’s probably too old to do it opposite a 20/30 something Bond.

    I think it might be an idea to avoid Felix and SPECTRE for a while anyway, to help set the next guy apart from Craig. Give him some new allies (like how Brosnan had Zukofsky) and baddies.

    Yeah, I don't need Felix for the first couple of films.

    I would like, though, whenever he does show up, that Bond has at least already met him before.
  • FatherValentineFatherValentine England
    Posts: 711
    Denbigh wrote: »
    Denbigh wrote: »
    I mean as I said above I'm totally on board for a bit of an older Felix to create a fresh dynamic, but if I was to go for the American version of James Bond dynamic that @StirredNotShaken mentions - I'd go for Christopher Abbott.

    Possessor2.jpg
    Seems a tad baby faced but I don't know who he is so might just be the choice of still. He got an edge?
    I can see that. He definitely has an edge though. This still is from a film called Possession. You should definitely check it out :)

    Thanks.

    I like the idea of rebooting with the Leiter relationship dynamic being set up early. Maybe riffing on the idea of the novel of LALD, with Leiter showing Bond around parts of the US. Leiter being older and more experienced would work well for that.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 8,352
    What is it about Felix that people like, out of interest? If you had to sell him as a character, how would you do it?

    I don't dislike him, he works for the plot to give Bond a clue or something, but as a character I'm not sure he's ever really done anything for Bond to bounce off.
  • StirredNotShakenStirredNotShaken Searching for No Time to Die in the "Favourite Bond Film" section...
    Posts: 2,066
    mtm wrote: »
    What is it about Felix that people like, out of interest? If you had to sell him as a character, how would you do it?

    I don't dislike him, he works for the plot to give Bond a clue or something, but as a character I'm not sure he's ever really done anything for Bond to bounce off.

    I just generally like that Bond has an acquaintance in his life that he can share a certain jovial warmth with, that on those occasions when Bond ends up Stateside he can sort of pop up every now and then. I would say I'm only particularly "attached" to Felix in the early novels, in LTK, and in the Craig era, and in the case of LTK I'll definitely concede that the script is doing the heavy lifting and not the character, my fondness for David Hedison aside.
  • MakeshiftPythonMakeshiftPython "I want you looking FABULOUS."
    Posts: 4,705
    mtm wrote: »
    What is it about Felix that people like, out of interest? If you had to sell him as a character, how would you do it?

    I don't dislike him, he works for the plot to give Bond a clue or something, but as a character I'm not sure he's ever really done anything for Bond to bounce off.

    It mainly comes from the novels. There’s more to their friendship in those novels than the films ever really delved into. It would be nice to see Bond and Leiter stop talking shop for once and start having an argument about American cars vs European cars, or just getting slammed at a bar after a few rounds at night.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    edited October 5 Posts: 8,352
    mtm wrote: »
    What is it about Felix that people like, out of interest? If you had to sell him as a character, how would you do it?

    I don't dislike him, he works for the plot to give Bond a clue or something, but as a character I'm not sure he's ever really done anything for Bond to bounce off.

    It mainly comes from the novels. There’s more to their friendship in those novels than the films ever really delved into. It would be nice to see Bond and Leiter stop talking shop for once and start having an argument about American cars vs European cars, or just getting slammed at a bar after a few rounds at night.

    That gets dangerously into the personal stuff which fans famously hate the idea of, though :) We don't want him to have an emotional life, don't forget.

    But seriously, yeah I remember it in the novels, but even then Felix was often more of a tour guide. He never really grabbed my attention and even in the books I was kind of waiting for him to leave. Plot-wise Casino Royale was as about as interesting as he ever got in the movies.
  • DenbighDenbigh UK
    Posts: 4,610
    I think for me it's nice to have a character that Bond can truly be comfortable around and have a consistent bond with, outside a professional capacity, because while they're both agents, they understand who and what they are to their respective superiors.

    And Felix was really the only character that they could do that with until we got to Ben Whishaw and Naomie Harris' Q and Moneypenny. I will say, I also never really resonated with a Felix until Jeffrey Wright. I really enjoyed Jack Lord in Dr No, but because he never got to continue, and Felix was so often recast, it was hard to really feel the relationship properly until Wright.
  • Posts: 12,592
    I've always loved Felix and ever since I was a kid enjoyed comparing the different actors in the role.
    Compared to the novels he does very little in the films. Still, great to have a buddy for Bond to work with that's a reoccurring character.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    edited October 5 Posts: 8,352
    Denbigh wrote: »
    And Felix was really the only character that they could do that with until we got to Ben Whishaw and Naomie Harris' Q and Moneypenny.

    Yeah I agree; I would say Bond's scenes with those two, and even the boat scene he has with Tanner in Spectre, feel a bit more characterful than any he has with Felix (in any of the films). Moneypenny is his friend in the more recent films, and it works.
    Prior to NTTD Craig's Bond doesn't actually share more than a few seconds of screentime with Felix, even though Wright is great. It genuinely can't be more than a minute of them together in CR and QoS..? (not including the poker table stuff because they're not interacting there).
  • DenbighDenbigh UK
    Posts: 4,610
    mtm wrote: »
    Denbigh wrote: »
    And Felix was really the only character that they could do that with until we got to Ben Whishaw and Naomie Harris' Q and Moneypenny.
    It genuinely can't be more than a minute of them together in CR and QoS..? (not including the poker table stuff because they're not interacting there).
    Yeah, it's a shame we couldn't have had more, but it makes sense given the films and stories we were given, and I felt Daniel and Wright were definitely able to sell the friendship even in the small scenes they did have together.
  • MakeshiftPythonMakeshiftPython "I want you looking FABULOUS."
    edited October 6 Posts: 4,705
    I always thought it was a shame that EON couldn't keep the actors straight with Felix like they eventually did with the MI6 crew. I understand Jack Lord is kind of an egomaniac, but I would have liked to see Cec Linder stick around for the rest of Connery's run. He at least had a bit more of a jovial personality compared to the block of wood that was Van Nutter and whoever that fat guy was on DAF.
  • FatherValentineFatherValentine England
    Posts: 711
    If you are going to have a member of the CIA in the film, why not make it Leiter? He's a warm character on paper, a foil for Bond, a useful ally, there's potential for interplay for Bond that could be entertaining or insightful.

    My favourite scenes in the Craig run involve Leiter (even if he is slightly different than in the books). I especially like the scene in QoS where he is shown the picture of Bond on Greene's phone. Even though he's not in the films much, he impacts the narrative and tone.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    edited October 6 Posts: 8,352
    I always thought it was a shame that EON couldn't keep the actors straight with Felix like they eventually did with the MI6 crew. I understand Jack Lord is kind of an egomaniac, but I would have liked to see Cec Linder stick around for the rest of Connery's run. He at least had a bit more of a jovial personality compared to the block of wood that was Van Nutter and whoever that fat guy was on DAF.

    Yeah Linder was my favourite of the early Connery batch too. It's not like I bought they were friends or anything, but he had a bit of personality to him, even if it wasn't much. I don't Lord was up to all that much, to be honest. The DAF guy could have been okay but we barely saw him- why wasn't he in those later scenes trying to track down Blofeld with Willard Whyte (actually Jimmy Dead would've been a good Felix)? Bernie Casey is probably the best Felix Connery had, I think: he had more personality than the rest.
    But really, pre-Wright, it's only Hedison who made any impact because he had a bit of charisma.
  • FatherValentineFatherValentine England
    Posts: 711
    Yes, the character has been poorly served a lot. Even if you don't think the literary character has much personality (which I don't agree with necessarily) you would still want for them to make more of an impact on screen, otherwise there is no point.

    Lord was ok, because he at least looked cool. Hedison is clearly the best up until Wright. Casey very good too.
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