“No Time to Die” Director Says Sean Connery’s James Bond Was “Basically” a Rapist

Cary Fukunaga made the comment while explaining how he plans to modernize the James Bond franchise

A black and white photo of Sean Connery (James Bond) and Honor Blackman (Pussy Galore) promoting the film "Goldfinger" in 1964
Sean Connery and Honor Blackman, who played Pussy Galore, promoting the film "Goldfinger" in 1964.
Getty Images

As with any film series that originated in the 1960s, there’s a lot about James Bond that hasn’t aged well. The spy’s treatment of women is especially awful, so much so that there’s been talk in recent years of having a woman take over the role to right those wrongs. The topic came up again in a recent interview with No Time to Die director Cary Fukunaga in The Hollywood Reporter.

Fukunaga cited Sean Connery’s original depiction of Bond as being especially problematic when asked about how he intends to modernize the series.

“Is it Thunderball or Goldfinger where, like, basically Sean Connery’s character rapes a woman?” he said. “She’s like ‘No, no, no,’ and he’s like, ‘Yes, yes, yes.’ That wouldn’t fly today.”

It turns out, it’s both Thunderball and Goldfinger when things get a little rapey. In 1964’s Goldfinger, Bond corners the ridiculously named Pussy Galore in a barn, and the pair engage in a physical fight before 007 eventually overpowers her on a haystack. In the following year’s Thunderball, he forcibly kisses a nurse, later telling her he would only keep information that would cost her her job secret at “a price.”

“You don’t mean … oh, no,” she responds, before Bond says, “Oh yes,” pushes her into a sauna and takes off her clothes.

Fukunaga stressed that while Phoebe Waller-Bridge was brought aboard to work on the screenplay, we won’t necessarily be seeing a “woke” Bond in No Time to Die because it doesn’t track with the character.

“You can’t change Bond overnight into a different person,” he explained. “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.”

“I think people are coming around — with some kicking and screaming — to accepting that stuff is no longer acceptable,” producer Barbara Broccoli added. “Thank goodness. 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.”

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.