Sam Mendes is Directing James Bond 23, On Track for 2011!
MGM has announced (via Heat Vision) that Oscar winning British filmmaker Sam Mendes, of American Beauty, Road to Perdition, Jarhead, Revolutionary Road, and Away We Go, has been hired to direct the upcoming 23rd James Bond movie. Despite recent concerns that the production was temporarily on hold, MGM is on track to release Bond 23 in late 2011. Bond regulars Neal Purvis and Robert Wade are writing the script along with Frost/Nixon writer Peter Morgan. Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli will produce. Daniel Craig will, of course, reprise his role as 007. Looks like they put together one hell of a great team!
Bond 23 will be Mendes' first "action-heavy project," especially since Jarhead didn't really have any action. I just hope he doesn't pull another Jarhead and turn James Bond into an intelligent, slow-moving drama without any killing or chasing or spying, because that would really upset me. This also probably means we'll see Mendes' wife Kate Winslet in the movie, considering he usually casts her most of his movies. Mendes is certainly a great filmmaker, I just don't feel like he's the right guy to tackle the next Bond. Something just feels odd about this and I'm honestly concerned. We'll see who else he casts in this. What do you think?
Update: If you didn't already figure this out, this announcement today was MGM's sly way of "covering up" the story about Bond 23 being put on hold. Since no one would believe them that it wasn't on hold, they just decided to make this announcement to prove that it was still moving forward as planned. Nikki Finke has another update saying that Mendes is only being brought on as a "consultant" for the time being because once he's signed on as director, MGM has to spend money (and they don't have any). "The producers are working on a deal to bring Sam on as consultant with an eye to direct." But he's not officially signed on yet.