Good news for all fellow Felix Leiter fans! According to Martin Campbell, who
was interviewed by
SciFiWire about Casino Royale, the CIA agent will be back in the 21st James
Bond movie! Leiter was last seen in Timothy Dalton’s final outing as James Bond,
License To Kill, in 1989. In GoldenEye and Tomorrow Never Dies he was replaced
by CIA agent Jack Wade, in 2002’s Die Another Day by NSA chief Damian Falco.
The character of Felix Leiter (with one exception always played by different
actors) has appeared in Dr No (1962), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965),
Diamonds Are Forever (1971), Live and Let Die (1973), The Living Daylights
(1987) and License To Kill (1989), where the plot basically was built up on
Leiter’s marriage. Campbell said: "We have [CIA agent] Felix Leiter in the
movie. So it’s a remastering of the series, basically. It is, as I’ve said, the
original story. That I am excited about."
It has already been speculated about whether the character of Leiter, who has a
very good reputation among James Bond fans, would return for Casino Royale. In
the 1990s there were petitions by fans such as "Bring
Back Felix" to substitute Jack Wade with Leiter.
Campbell also confirmed what has been rumoured in the last few months: Casino Royale won’t see ‘Q’. "We don’t have a Q [or gadget master] in this film. That
doesn’t happen." He added that on the other hand they have an amazing ‘M’. "Judi
Dench is far too great an actress not to have, to be honest," Campbell said.
"She must be England’s best actress, I think."
Martin Campbell then went on to talk about the film: "First of all, it’s a
franchise that doesn’t need reinventing, because the last one took in a huge
amount of money. But I think what makes this interesting is that it’s going back
to the original book. That’s what makes it exciting. Having a new Bond? I think
Daniel is not only a terrific actor, but it’s kind of a tougher, more gritty
Bond this time, hopefully without losing all the things that make Bond really
work. And it’s a much more … What’s the word?… It’s got its feet on the
ground much more in term of its action and in terms of its story."
Casino Royale is the 21st James Bond film produced
by franchise holders Eon Productions. The MGM/Columbia Pictures production
began shooting in January and is due for release worldwide on 17 November 2006.
Starring Daniel Craig as James Bond, it is currently being filmed in the Czech Republic,
the Bahamas, Italy and the UK.