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.

MGM watch: studio gets another debt extension, Reuters says

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. said today in an e-mailed press release it got another extension for repaying its debt, this one lasting until Oct. 29. Here’s the start of a STORY BY REUTERS that reported the news:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer [MGMYR.UL] said on Wednesday that its lenders agreed to extend a deadline for debt payments as the film studio prepares to be handed over to film company Spyglass Entertainment.

A source familar with the matter said last week that the founders of Spyglass signed a nonbinding letter of intent to take over MGM, which is struggling with about $4 billion of debt after being bought out in 2005.

Nothing new about the possible Spyglass deal in today’s announcement, much less whether (as fans hope), it will get Bond 23 out of its current state of limbo.

UPDATE: Nikki Finke weighs in on her Deadline site which YOU CAN VIEW BY CLICKING HERE. She sounds as tired of these debt extensions as most Bond fans.

Lazenby doesn’t care about Bond 23 woes, details sexual conquests, Reuters says

George Lazenby attended a screen of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service in Los Angeles and took questions from fans this week. One of them concerned how Bond 23 is in limbo because of financial troubles at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. Reuters, the news service that once employed Ian Fleming, chronicled what happened next:

But when he was asked during a Q&A for his thoughts on the future of the Bond franchise, he was decidedly blunt.

“Y’know, I couldn’t give a s***,” he said, to much laughter during an exchange that following a screening of the film.

He also talked about what got him the role, making him the first film actor after Sean Connery to play 007.

“Too bad I couldn’t act, but it was fun,” Lazenby said, explaining that his arrogance and sure way with women helped get him the coveted role previously held by Sean Connery.

Asked about his sexual conquests during his glory days, the former model said, “I don’t want to brag too much, but at least one a day.”

Lazenby said co-star Diana Rigg wasn’t one of them.

He described her as “a tough nut,” who warned him against sleeping with so many women on the set. A chill set in once she caught him rolling about with a hotel receptionist on a mattress used by stuntmen, he recalled.

You can read the entire story BY CLICKING HERE.