Jeffrey Wright tells Reuters 007 films have `independent movie’ feel

Reuters caught up with Jeffrey Wright, the most recent screen Felix Leiter, to discuss a new play he’s working on in New York, “A Free Man of Color.” The story is mostly about the play but Wright makes an observation or two about the Bond franchise.

Yet even in the film world, there is enormous variety, and contrary to what one might think, not all big-budget films are commodities, he emphasizes. “I’m part of a wonderful franchise, the Bond franchise,” having played CIA agent Felix Leiter in “Casino Royale” and “Quantum of Solace.” “That’s about as big-budget as they come, but it feels like an independent movie when we’re on the set.”

Here’s how Reuters describes Wright’s newest role and current project:

(T)he 44-year-old actor is now playing a flamboyantly preening ladies’ man named Jacques Cornet in early-19th-century French New Orleans.

The world of “A Free Man of Color” is peopled with broadly drawn, larger-than-life locals as well as historical figures such as Thomas Jefferson, Meriwether Lewis, James Monroe, and Napoleon Bonaparte. This stylized, panoramic comedy-interspersed-with-tragedy is a story of manipulation, intrigue, and lots of adultery, in a place where the races intermingle freely.

To read the entire story, which is on The New York Times’s Web site, JUST CLICK HERE.

Happy birthday No. 78, Robert Vaughn

Robert Vaughn, the original Napoleon Solo (aka The Man From U.N.C.L.E.), turned 78 today. We wish Mr. V a happy birthday. Here’s a clip from Vaughn’s final performance as Solo, the television movie The Return of the Man From U.N.C.L.E. It includes the original CBS intro and the main titles. The Jerry Goldsmith theme is there, in an arrangement by Gerald Fried, who scored the most episodes of the original series: