Felix Leiter is a fictional character invented by Ian Fleming in the James Bond books, who also appears in the Bond movies. In the films, Leiter works for the CIA, and assists Bond in his various adventures. He was portrayed by Bernie Casey in the 1983 film Never Say Never Again. This was the first interpretation of Leiter as an African-American.
In 1983 Kevin McClory, one of the original writers of the novel Thunderball, produced Never Say Never Again, a re-make of the 1965 film Thunderball. McClory's rights to the film were held separate to those of Eon Productions, although he had been one of the producers for the original Thunderball adaptation. The film marked the return of Sean Connery to the Bond role; he spoke with Bernie Casey, saying that as the Leiter role was never remembered by audiences, using a black Leiter might make him more memorable. Smith and Lavington consider Casey to be "the most compelling Felix Leiter since Jack Lord", although again there was little in the script for him to do.