James Bond’s hint in Skyfall that he may have had a gay experience in his past was too distant a mission for studio executives, according to the film’s producer, who said she had to fight the attempts to cut the scene.
Barbara Broccoli, the longtime producer of the 007 franchise, has said she has defended herself against attempts to drop a scene where Daniel Craig’s Bond has a busy encounter with the film’s villain, Raoul Silva, played by Javier Bardem.
Bond, strapped to a chair by henchmen, is stroked by Silva who touches his chest and thigh, adding, “You’re trying to remember your workout now. What are the regulations to cover this? Well the first time for everything I guess.
An unperturbed Leap replies, “What makes you think this is my first time?”
The significance of the scene was widely debated at the time – screenwriter John Logan said he was “playing the kind of homoerotic card that’s kind of still around. [in Bond films]”- but according to Broccoli, he hardly made the final version, a global smash that grossed $ 1.1 billion (£ 800 million) at the box office and rebooted the franchise.
“I remember the studio telling us to cut that line and we said no, no, no,” Broccoli said, in an Apple TV + documentary about the films of Craig’s Bond Being James Bond. “We resisted.
Broccoli, known as the keeper of the Bond brand, said his determination to retain the stage was justified by the reaction to it at the 2012 world premiere at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
“The night of the premiere, that line, the whole place rocked it so… I remember looking at the studio director. [and] going, ‘See, I told you,’ ”said Broccoli.
Film director Sir Sam Mendes acknowledged the subtext of a scene that questioned Bond’s decades-old on-screen portrayal as a womanizer. “I think there is a huge homoerotic stream in a lot of Bond films,” he said.
A former 007 claimed Broccoli would never allow a gay Bond in his life. Speaking in 2015, Pierce Brosnan said he was open to the idea of a gay 007, but the franchise keeper might have different ideas.
“Sure. Why not?” Brosnan said, when asked if he could imagine a gay Bond. But he added: “Actually, I don’t know how it would work. I don’t think Barbara would allow a gay Bond to happen in her lifetime. But it would definitely make an interesting viewing.
Brosnan added that a racially diverse cast of Bond was more likely in the future. “Let’s start with a great black actor who is James Bond,” he said.