One of the most popular recurring characters throughout the Bond films is Felix Leiter, but the biggest stumbling block to growing the character has always been that, until David Hedison in Licence To Kill, the same actor never played the role twice.
Jeffrey Wright became the second actor to play the role twice, first in Casino Royale in which he provided a great support for Daniel Craig’s James Bond. He proved to be a popular choice but he was underused on the followup, Quantum of Solace.
After sitting out Skyfall, the question was going to be whether Bond 24 saw the return of Leiter. According to Jeffrey Wright the answer is “no”, in an interview with SlashFilm for The Hunger Games.
When asked at the end of the interview whether he’ll be in Bond 24, Wright replies; “No. Felix is going to be playing Beetee next fall or whenever it comes out.”
While that is being interpreted at face value, given the history of Felix Leiter in the film series it could also simply mean that the role has been offered to someone else. Perhaps that is unlikely with today’s Bond films in which they seek better continuity and given Wright’s popularity in the role, but only time will tell.