Cary Fukunaga, director of the upcoming James Bond film No Time To Die, has made controversial comments about when Bond was played by actor Sean Connery.
Fukunaga has accused Connery’s James Bond of acting highly controversially, highlighting a scene from the 1965 film Thunderball.
In the film, Bond tries to kiss nurse Patricia Fearing (Molly Peters), however she pushes him away and rejects his rather forceful advances.
Fukunaga has since spoken out about his views on the scene and Bond’s role within it.
After the nurse pushes Bond away, she pleads with him not to report on her to her boss about the incident in case she ends up losing her job. ‘Well, I suppose my silence could have a price,’ Bond replies.
Bond then ends up backing Fearing into a corner, as she panics, ‘You don’t mean… Oh no!’, before he replies with, ‘Oh yes’, and ends up herding her into a steam room in which he then removes her clothing. Bond also later goes on to become romantically involved with Domino, played by Claudine Auger.
Fukunaga asked The Hollywood Reporter, ‘Is it Thunderball or Goldfinger where, like, basically Sean Connery’s character rapes a woman?[…] That wouldn’t fly today.’
In contrast, in No Time To Die, Fukunaga hoped to empower the female characters and ‘give them equity’.
Barbara Broccoli, the Bond film’s producer, even noted that the figure of Bond certainly has had a ‘long history’.
I think people are coming around – with some kicking and screaming – to accepting that stuff is no longer acceptable. Thank goodness. Bond is a character who was written in 1952 and the first film [Dr. No] came out in 1962.
Dr Lisa Funnell, a professor who teaches a course on gender and Bond, described the scene that Fukunaga highlighted as ‘especially troubling’.
She noted how Bond is known for his ‘sexual magnetism and ability to attract women’, in popular culture, however that the Thunderball scene ‘challenges the way we “remember” Connery’s Bond’.
Funnell went on to say how the scene highlights Connery’s version of 007 as using ‘deception, intimidation and sexual violence to accomplish professional and personal goals’, traits of Bond that can often be forgotten by fans.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact the Rape Crisis England and Wales helpline on 0808 802 9999 between 12pm–2.30pm and 7pm– 9.30pm every day. Alternatively, you can contact Victim Support free on 08 08 16 89 111 available 24/7, every day of the year, including Christmas.