Though he did a fantastic job with Skyfall, director Sam Mendes will not be returning for Bond 24. This news does come as a bit of a surprise since Mendes seemed pretty adamant on returning, at least judging by his comments over the last few months. Speaking to Empire though, the director confirmed his decision.
“It has been a very difficult decision not to accept Michael and Barbara’s very generous offer to direct the next Bond movie. Directing Skyfall was one of the best experiences of my professional life, but I have theatre and other commitments, including productions of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory and King Lear, that need my complete focus over the next year and beyond.”
Originally, Mendes had turned down Bond 24 since it was to be scripted as a back-to-back connecting project with Bond 25. If things had stayed like that, it would mean a four year commitment for him, which is why he initially declined the offer to direct. When those plans were scrapped though, the director seemed more eager to return and many thought that he would surely be helming the next film in the franchise.
Just because he’ll be sitting out of Bond 24 though doesn’t mean that we won’t see Mendes return to the franchise at a later date. He told Empire that he may come back to Bond at some point in the future.
“I feel very honoured to have been part of the Bond family and very much hope I have a chance to work with them again sometime in the future,” said Mendes.
Producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli gave a comment as well on Mendes and his decision.
“We thoroughly enjoyed working with Sam, he directed our most successful Bond movie ever, Skyfall. We would have loved to have made the next film with him but completely respect his decision to focus on other projects and hope to have the opportunity to collaborate with him again.”
So there you have it. Bond 24 will not be directed by Sam Mendes. Of course, this means that the search for a new director is now on as the studio is hoping to get going on the film fairly soon. There are a number of likely candidates and I’m sure the studio already has their eye on someone. It shouldn’t be long before we have a shortlist, at the very least. As always, when we hear more news on the issue, we’ll be sure to report it.
For now though, tell us, who do you want to see direct Bond 24? Have your say in the comments below.