The first actor to play a character that goes on to become iconic is often remembered as the best, which is largely down to getting there first and having a completely blank canvas to work with that doesn’t come burdened with expectations, something any successor doesn’t get to enjoy.
That’s one of the main reasons why Christopher Reeve’s Superman, Michael Keaton’s Batman, and Sean Connery’s James Bond are still viewed as the benchmarks of their respective franchises. Bringing 007 to instantly iconic life in Dr. No, the relatively unknown Connery became a household name overnight, bringing a suave charm and natural charisma to the secret agent that would remain the archetypal approach to Bond for decades.
Of course, almost 60 years have passed since the legendary actor first threw on the tux and sipped on a martini, meaning that some Connery-era content doesn’t play so well when viewed through a modern lens. One person who isn’t a fan is No Time to Die director Cary Joji Fukunaga, who revealed as much in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
“Is it Thunderball or Goldfinger where, like, 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.”
Times and attitudes are always changing, and Fukunaga’s right in saying that some of Connery’s more amorous advances haven’t held up over half a century later. James Bond has maintained relevance through evolution, so it’s safe to assume that the regularly pigheaded and frequently misogynist 1960s iteration of James Bond has long been consigned to the history books.