With No Time to Die set to hit cinemas on September 30th, the anticipation for the latest instalment has also entailed a look back at the past, with none other than director Cary Fukunaga joining the debate.
Speaking to the Hollywood Reporter, the American filmmaker heralding No Time to Die reflected on various nettlesome scenes from previous James Bond films including Sean Connery’s incarnation forcibly kissing a nurse non-consensually in 1965’s Thunderball as well as blackmailing the same character for sexual favours.
As Fukunaga recalls: “Is it Thunderball or Goldfinger where 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 dialogue exchange from the blackmail scene is a troubling one:
James Bond: “I suppose my silence could have a price.”
Nurse (Molly Peters): “You don’t mean… oh no!”
James Bond: “Oh Yes!” (Proceeds to push the nurse into a sauna and begins to strip her.)
Such scenes are commonplace in the older James Bond movies where sex is commoditised, and assaults are played off with coy Hollywood treatment. However, the latest outing has looked to push the franchise in a more progressive direction.
Executive producer Barbara Broccoli, who has helmed the Bond franchise since 1995, remarked: “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.”
This was a sentiment that Daniel Craig echoed as he said farewell to the beloved character, asking for more acceptance that the franchise should mirror the changing world.
Daniel Craig’s James Bond farewell, No Time To Die, will premiere at the Albert Hall on September 28th, as fans eagerly await news of who will fill 007’s shoes.