No Time to Die Director Says Sean Connery's James Bond 'Rapes a Woman': 'That Wouldn't Fly Today'
Jesse Grant/Getty Images; Donaldson Collection/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Cary Fukunaga, the director behind the latest James Bond film No Time to Die, is making his feelings known about the first onscreen interpretation of the iconic spy character.
While speaking with The Hollywood Reporter for an interview published Wednesday, the 44-year-old filmmaker reflected on Sean Connery's version of 007 and compared the character to a rapist.
Recalling past Bond films, Fukunaga asked the publication, "Is it Thunderball or Goldfinger where, like, basically Sean Connery's character rapes a woman? She's like 'No, no, no,' and he's like, 'Yes, yes, yes.'"
"That wouldn't fly today," the director — who helmed previous films such as Beasts of No Nation and Jane Eyre — added to the outlet.
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According to The Guardian, the scene in which Fukunaga was referring to could come from either of the films he mentioned.
In 1964's Goldfinger, Connery's Bond forces himself on Pussy Galore, who is played by Honor Blackman, while the duo is together in a haybarn, the outlet said.
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Then in Thunderball, which was released a year later, Connery's Bond kisses a nurse who had previously denied his advances. Later in the film, Bond says that he will keep quiet about information that could get the nurse — played by Molly Peters — fired if she sleeps with him.
"I suppose my silence could have a price," he says, to which Peters' character replies, "You don't mean … oh, no," before Bond responds back, "Oh, yes," and takes off her clothes inside a sauna, per the outlet.
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Also speaking with THR, Barbara Broccoli — a producer on the film who has worked behind-the-scenes on Bond movies since 1977's The Spy Who Loved Me — praised Fukunaga for how he handled Bond in what will mark Daniel Craig's last outing in the role.
"I think people are coming around — with some kicking and screaming — to accepting that stuff is no longer acceptable. Thank goodness," she said. "Bond is a character who was written in 1952 and the first film [Dr. No] came out in 1962. He's got a long history, and the history of the past is very different to the way he is being portrayed now."
Noting that Bond can't be changed "overnight into a different person," Fukunaga added that "you can definitely change the world around him and the way he has to function in that world."
"It's a story about a white man as a spy in this world, but you have to be willing to lean in and do the work to make the female characters more than just contrivances," he explained.
No Time to Die opens on Oct. 8 after multiple delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic.