Studio Executives unsuccessfully attempted to leave a homoerotic scene from the James Bond movie Skyfall on the cutting room floor.
According to Barbara Broccoli, a long term producer for the Bond franchise, the implication that Bond may have had gay experiences in the past, had crossed the line for some executives.
The said scene opens with Bond ( Daniel Craig), bound to a chair by MI6 operative-turned-cyberterrorist Raoul Silva (Javier Barden). With Bond unable to move, Silva begins to pull open Bonds shirt. Gesturing to his scars he says “You’re trying to remember your training now. What’s the regulation to cover this? Well, first time for everything, I guess.”
To this Bond replies “What makes you think this is my first time?”
The sexual tension in the scene is palpable. But, the scene could have been censored if studio executives had their way.
“I remember we were told to cut that line by the studio and we said no, no, no. We resisted,” Broccoli revealed in an Apple TV+ documentary Being James Bond.
Gay Undertones In Other Bond Movies
However across the many films within the Bond franchise, you will find many gay undertones and characters
In 1967, You Only Live Twice, the superbly camp Dikko Henderson, played by Charles Gray, not only greets Bond wearing a kimono, he then serves up a vodka martini. When congratulated on having access to Russian vodka, Henderson says that he gets it from the doorman at the Russian Embassy…. “amongst certain other things.”
Those behind 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever, weren’t mincing about when it came to Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd either, the two men hold hands in earlier scenes, with Kidd later saying of diamond smuggler Tiffany Case, “she is very attractive…. for a lady”.
Diamonds Are Forever, also introduced audiences to Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the powerful criminal mastermind and arch enemy of Bond, who in the film escaped by donning full drag- Dolly Parton weave and all…
During the 1980’s British tabloids were consumed by news Margaret Thatcher, and in 1981 the Bond franchise, was praised for satirising Thatcher in For Yours Eyes Only. Thatcher, shortly after the film’s release, introduced to Parliament an act banning the promotion of homosexuality by local authorities.
But for all the political tension that was Britain in the 80’s , the Bond franchise decided to spice things up, and introduced a bevy of hot men to mingle with the Bond girls, as background artists. Suddenly, Bond was serving eye candy, and not just for those into ladies.
This shift in focus reached its climax in 2006 with a near naked, dripping wet, Daniel Craig, recreating in Casino Royal, Bond girl Honey Ryder’s iconic scene of her emerging from the ocean in 1962’s Dr No.
In Quantum Of Solace, we learn that henchman Elvis loves killing people, likes Tosca, and while he listens to Puccini’s swelling melodies, something in the look and smile he gives his fellow henchman- tells us, he very much ‘likes’ him most of all.
A Gay Bond
The Bond novels have in recent years, also begun to welcome more diverse characters. Anthony Horowitz- author of the Trigger Mortis, revealed there was always ‘little twists’ being made to make Bond feel more contemporary. Thanks to Horowitz, Bond now has a new, very outspoken gay friend, who often riles him up, by reminding Bond that he is living in the 20th century now and not the Middle Ages.
But all this aside, there is still more to be achieved, – as was said by British actor Ben Whishaw in 2019, during his time lobbying for ‘substantial’ gay characters to join the Bond franchise’. Whishaw, himself openly gay- found his place in the Bond franchise as ‘Q’ in Skyfall (2012), Spectre (2015) and recently released No Time to Die.
Will we one day see a gay James Bond? With other long-standing franchise such as Doctor Who embracing more diverse casts, it is perhaps inevitable.
Doctor Who, recently cast Jodie Whittaker as the show’s first female lead in all it’s 58 years. With both franchises premiering in 1963, Doctor Who proved that such massive shake-up, can be widely successful Although, we will likely be waiting a few more years for a Bond film to serve us gay representation.
“Sure. Why not?” Pierce Brosnan had said during a 2015 interview in which he was asked whether he could picture 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 certainly make for interesting viewing.”
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Studio Executives Wanted James Bond’s ‘Gay Scene’ In Skyfall Cut