'No Time to Die' director says Sean Connery's Bond's behavior towards women 'wouldn't fly today': He 'basically rapes a woman'

·Senior Writer, Yahoo Entertainment
·3-min read

Ever since Daniel Craig first picked up James Bond's license to kill in 2006's Casino Royale, the franchise has sought to distinguish his 007 from the super-spies who came before. The Craig era has been defined by grittier action, more grounded villains and a serialized storyline that reaches its final chapter with the actor's farewell to the role, No Time to Die. The films have also conspicuously wrestled with how to approach Bond's romantic life, limiting the causal flings and overt misogyny that permeated the adventures of his predecessors, including Roger Moore and Sean Connery.

In a new interview in The Hollywood Reporter, No Time to Die director, Cary Fukunaga, described how Craig's last Bond film attempts to bring the franchise into the post #MeToo era, and takes explicit aim at the Connery films in the process. "Is it Thunderball or Goldfinger where, like, basically Sean Connery’s character rapes a woman?" Fukunaga remarked. "She’s like 'No, no, no,' and he’s like, 'Yes, yes, yes.' That wouldn’t fly today." 

Sean Connery and Shirley Eaton in the 1964 James Bond adventure, Goldfinger (Photo: Courtesy Everett Collection)
Sean Connery and Shirley Eaton in the 1964 James Bond adventure, Goldfinger. (Photo: Courtesy Everett Collection)

For the record, Fukunaga is likely thinking of the sequence in Goldfinger where Connery's Bond confronts Honor Blackman's iconic Bond Girl, Pussy Galore, in a barn. "I'm not interested," she tells 007, before he grabs her arm and sparks a protracted wrestling match that ends with them locked in an embrace as he forces his lips on hers. It's a controversial scene that has been likened to rape over the years

Connery and Honor Blackman in a controversial scene from Goldfinger (Photo: Courtesy Everett Collection)
Connery and Honor Blackman in a controversial scene from Goldfinger. (Photo: Courtesy Everett Collection)

In interviews, Blackman — who died in April 2020, six months before Connery passed away — often emphasized the fact that her cheekily named alter ego went toe-to-toe with Bond and held her own. "Most of the Bond girls have been bimbos — I have never been a bimbo," the actress remarked in one interview. She also credited her martial arts training with ensuring that Galore and Bond appeared equally matched. "When we did the fight — the 'so-called fight’ — I'd been used to doing judo in the studio on cement,” she reportedly said in one interview. "So they had banks and banks of straw and they said 'Will that be alright? Can you land? Will you be safe?' I mean, it was luxury for me."

As the trailers illustrate, the women in No Time to Die will be part of the action as well, particularly Lashana Lynch, who is the first actress to play a "00" agent in a Bond movie. Fukunaga credits producer Barbara Broccoli with pushing the franchise in that direction. "From my very first conversations with [Broccoli], that was a very strong drive," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "You can’t change Bond overnight into a different person. But 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." 

No Time to Die premieres Oct. 8 in theaters.

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