Director Sam Mendes is one of the best things to happen to the James Bond franchise in recent years – his dazzling work behind the camera working with cinematographer Roger Deakins made Skyfall the sleekest and most visually impressive Bond movie, perhaps ever. Now, he’s faced with the daunting task of topping it in this fall’s Spectre – and according to the helmer, he’ll be done with the series for good this time.
Via BBC News, Mendes told BBC Radio’s Test Match Special that his two Bond films have been an “enormous undertaking” and that they have taken a toll on him.
“I don’t think I could go down that road again,” Mendes said. “You do have to put everything else on hold,” he said, explaining that the work necessary to make a Bond film means such a task is “really is more a lifestyle choice than a job.”
Of course, Mendes was similarly uncertain about returning for Spectre, at one point declining the offer to direct in favor of tackling other projects. But MGM and Sony waited patiently for him to take care of other commitments, including a stage adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, then made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. So could a similar about-face happen with Bond 25?
“I said no to the last one and then ended up doing it, and was pilloried by all my friends,” Mendes said. “But I do think this is probably it.”
It’s understandable why Mendes would choose to step away from Bond for good after Spectre. He’s been involved with the franchise for five years now, and Spectre is an even more massive undertaking than Skyfall was.
“This is a bigger movie than Skyfall. It’s shot in more places – we were in Mexico City and Tangiers and northern Sahara and Rome and the Alps and London,” said Mendes.
Additionally, MGM and Sony will become embroiled in a commotion for the rights to more Bond films – Sony’s contract is up after Spectre, and other studios are already sharking. It’s been rumored that a new studio may close a deal with MGM and give the franchise a new spin, letting star Daniel Craig out of his contract and moving the series in another direction.
Mendes also revealed that the Spectre theme song has been recorded and completed, though he declined to reveal a title or an artist. “I can say that the song’s been recorded and it’s fantastic and I’m very excited about it,” he said. “You won’t have to wait long.”
The rumor mill has churned out a few top-tier names in association with the Bond theme, most prominently “Stay With Me” crooner Sam Smith and “Lights” chanteuse Ellie Goulding. The latter seems more likely at this point, but with Mendes predicting we’ll find out soon enough, fingers crossed we’ll get at least a sneak peek before summer’s end.
Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Lea Seydoux, Andrew Scott, Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw, Dave Bautista, Monica Bellucci, Ralph Fiennes and Stephanie Sigman all star in Spectre, which opens stateside November 6.
A cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.