Bi Bond? Hint of James Bond's Sexual Past Nearly Cut from 'Skyfall'

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Sunday September 12, 2021
Originally published on September 8, 2021

Daniel Craig and Javier Bardem in "Skyfall"
Daniel Craig and Javier Bardem in "Skyfall"  (Source:Columbia Pictures)

Bi? James Bond?

That was, evidently, the reaction of studio executives who wanted a now-iconic line spoken by star Daniel Craig to be cut from the 2012 smash hit "Skyfall," the 23rd installment in the James Bond franchise.

Longtime producer Barbara Broccoli refused to heed the demand, and the line — freighted with significance — remained intact, UK newspaper The Guardian reports.

The line comes in a celebrated scene in which Craig's 007 is bound to a chair while the film's villain, Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem), comes on to him.

The Guardian recalls how the Bond movie baddie "touches his chest and thigh" while telling the captive MI6 agent, "You're trying to remember your training now. What's the regulation to cover this? Well, first time for everything I guess."

Craig's immortal comeback: "What makes you think this is my first time?"

"I remember we were told to cut that line by the studio and we said no, no, no," the Guardian quoted Broccoli as revealing in "Being James Bond," a new documentary about Craig's five-film run as the titular character of the enduring franchise.

Bond has been a symbol of heterosexual conquest for more than half a century, so the suits' squeamishness is perhaps more understandable in that context. Still, Broccoli knew best — as was demonstrated at the film's world premiere in London, when the crowd went wild for Craig's juicy rejoinder.

"I remember looking at the studio executive, going, 'See, told you,' " Broccoli recalls in the doc, which streams on Apple TV+.

The upcoming "No Time to Die," which hits theaters globally next month after a COVID delay of a year and a half, will be the 25th entry in the Bond series, and Craig's swan song.

Buzz about who will take up the famous "license to kill" (denoted by the double-0 in Bond's 007 serial number) has already reached a feverish pitch, with everyone from Idris Elba to Emily Blunt to out actor Lashana Lynch (who plays a lesbian MI6 agent in the new film) being touted as a prospect.

Out actor Luke Evans has also been suggested as a possible new 007. Evans shot to the top of bookmakers' lists after saying in May that he'd be interested in donning the famous spy's iconic tuxedo.

The bookies have also weighed the chances of a number of other notable actors, the previous EDGE article noted, including "Tom Hardy, James Norton, Richard Madden, Michael Fassbender and Aiden Turner — actors who would fall in the tradition of having a cis, white actor play Ian Fleming's super-spy."

if Broccoli has any insider knowledge about where the franchise is headed next, she's keeping it a well-guarded secret.

"I think we just really want to celebrate this and celebrate Daniel, and then when the dust settles, then look at the landscape and figure out what the future is," Broccoli told TotalFilm last month.

"Although," Broccoli added, "I think one thing we've certainly learned in the last 18 months is you never know what the future is."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.