Did Sam Mendes Exit Disney’s Pinocchio For Bond 25?

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Due to the success of the likes of Cinderella, The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast, Disney has got a slew of live-action remakes of their animated classics coming in the next few years. Several have been fast-tracked into production, such as Tim Burton’s Dumbo, Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin and Jon Favreau’s The Lion King, but one such project has now hit a bump in the road.

After being first linked with the film back in May, Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes is reportedly stepping away from Disney’s planned remake of Pinocchio. Though the American Beauty helmer isn’t known for his kid-friendly movies, Mendes did bring a successful musical adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to the West End, so it looked like he could be the perfect director for Pinocchio. Apparently not, though.

The juiciest part of this story, however, is the potential reason for his leaving the project. Bond 25, the next movie to star Daniel Craig as 007, is currently on the hunt for a new director. So, could Mendes be returning to the franchise, then? It’s certainly possible, as he has shepherded the past two outings to great success – Skyfall was a hit across the board, while Spectre‘s financial gain outweighed its mixed critical reception.

Did Sam Mendes Exit Disney's Pinocchio For Bond 25?

It’s worth remembering, though, that Mendes seemed to draw the line in the sand about his Bond career after making Spectre. “I think it’s time for somebody else [to direct],” he commented last year. That said, the future of the franchise was still up in the air back in 2016. At that point, everyone assumed Craig wasn’t going to sign up for another film. Now that the actor’s locked in though, for what could end up being his final turn as James Bond, it’s possible that EON were able to coax Mendes back into the fold, as well.

This rumour will no doubt earn a conflicted response from fans, with Spectre haters out there likely wanting Sam Mendes to stay away from the series. However, whatever your feelings on that movie, you have to admit it would be interesting to have a trilogy of linked Bond films helmed by the same director. In a franchise that usually has little in the way of continuity, this would be a first.

Whoever’s directing it, Bond 25 is set to shoot into theaters on November 8, 2019.

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