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Sam Mendes is Directing James Bond 23, On Track for 2011!

by
January 5, 2010
Source: Heat Vision

Sam Mendes

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.

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  • samuelj
    im a little wary of mendes for james bond, but well see
  • Oh good, I was wondering when the latest Bond reboot would cross over into the ridiculous.
  • Zachy
    Alex, I highly doubt Kate Winslet will have a role in this film despite her marriage with Mendes.
  • germs
    As long as the script is solid, this man can direct a great movie. Worry about the script, not Sam Mendes.
  • CL
    i was pretty excited until u brought up jarhead. if it stay relatively action-packed, it should be amazing.
  • Steffan
    Mendes only cast Winslet in one of his films, and that was REVOLUTIONARY ROAD. On another note, I would've prefered Danny Boyle or Matthew Vaughn as director, but hey, Mendes is a very good director, I think he'll do a lot better than Marc Foster, QUANTUM OF SOLACE was a disappointment considering how well Martin Campbell kicked off the Bond franchise again.
  • monal
    campbell's james bond movies have been the best Bond movies of the bronsan/craig movies because he knows how to direct action....Foster did not have a track record in that dept.....will be interesting to see how Mendes does with the material,
  • nelson
    where is my preacher movie mendes??
  • Ron
    Sam Mendes is an awesome director...for drama but action? This IS disconcerting. I guess we will have to wait and see. And with MGM's financial problems; probably a long time!
  • rockfeller
    brilliant, best film news of the year so far. sam mendes will do the same thing nolan did for batman. this is excellent news, cant wait.
  • Dirty Dutchman
    #4 is spot on. Also, besides more action... I would expect to see James Bond slay more women in bed for the next one.
  • movie mike
    Could be a good choice. He will make it more character driven and less abut mindless shaky cam action which is where it needs to go.
  • Stevi3
    Why does the Bond series use a difference director for each film?
  • Fuelbot
    In defense of Sam Mendes, a dramatic director would do well here. Why? Because he'll show some fucking restraint. Can you tell me you understood any of the action scenes in Quantum Of Solace? I'm still nauseous from watching them.
  • mjm123
    Usually casts her? Mendes has only ever worked with Kate Winslet in Revolutionary Road, a role she was born to play. Come on, I find it hard to believe that the Brocolis plus Sony Pictures would allow him to cast someone just cause it his wife. I have faith that Mendes will make a much smarter Bond than Marc Forster did. After the abysmal, fast-paced no brained Quantum of Solace, maybe the next Bond should be a little more of an intelligent, slow-moving drama."
  • movie mike
    @14 AMEN!
  • ?
    Where does it say he's been hired? All it says is he's in negotiations to direct.
  • Great to hear some they are getting some traction on this film despite the woes MGM have had.
  • LINKFX
    I feel that Mendes is good for the job. Road to Perdition had some gloriously stylish gun violence and showed he has a way with pulpy material. A daring choice, just like QofS.
  • Felix
    Good news. Besides, does anyone share the opinion that Quantum of Solace was one of the most beautiful shot films in the franchise?
  • LINKFX
    FELIX, I agree wholeheartedly with your opinion. Quatum of Solace was an amazing genre-subverting masterwork.
  • Slan Man
    Great, now if he can just team up with Allen Ball again Bond23 will have a gay James Bond finally figuring out that America is the true source of evil in the world and Felix will be replaced by an Iranian SS-douche and together they will lecture the audience for two hours on how shallow middle-class American values are. They'll probably pick one of the guys from One Tree Hill as the love interest, a sexually-curious young Muslim man traumatized when his family are savagely butchered by red neck American soldiers (this is going to be the biggest Bond yet overseas). I'm sure it will be done very tastefully and with the Mendes/Ball pedigree and a few Bollywood dollars-backed Indian actors thrown in for comic relief it's a sure thing at Oscar time, too.
  • Kevin
    The only one of his movies that I didn't care for was Away We Go, so I'm pretty stoked.
  • Xerxex
    I have tremendous faith in this film now, Mendes is a top director, "Road To Perdition" is one of the best films ever made and American Beauty is awesome, so I'm offically excited for Bond 23.
  • Zack
    With the release of Bond 23 near the end of 2011, the film will play into 2012. With England hosting the Olympics then and with the initiation of Prince Williams what not, it will be interesting what the film is about....
  • Will
    I think that Sam will bring James Bond to a different place, that we haven't seen him in before. The way they are taking Bond--a more serious, drama-like approach--is one of the best things have done to the series since casting Sean Connery in the role. I think Mendes' experience with heavy dramas like Revolutionary Road and Jarhead will be of great value to B23, and while some people may not like an action movie that entertains AND makes you think--I think its a perfect direction for the series.
  • guh
    Oh God...KILL OFF BOND ALREADY, DAMMIT!!!
  • hahaha
    Jesus Christ, Billington. Why would you say something like "considering he usually casts her" about Kate Winslet when 2 seconds on IMDB would have shown you otherwise? Since you seem intent on making this a "this is our opinion!!" site rather than a site leaning towards reporting the news, it'd be helpful if you gave yourself some credibility by not completely fucking up simple facts. Meanwhile. A better dramatic director would be great for the Bond franchise, plus Mendes has worked with Craig before. So long as the script is solid, it'll be fine. I pray Bond 23 is not completely asinine like Quantum of Solace - where the penultimate action sequence was set in some ridiculous desert hotel with a shoe-horned plot device about an unstable power generator that will make the entire place explode really soon!!!!
  • #29 - Well, first, yes, this is my blog and I can state my opinion it. Secondly, obviously I know Mendes hasn't put her in ALL of his movies, I'm not an idiot. I'm just saying that as a half-joke and honest half-concern. I like Mendes, but he's not a good fit for Bond. And one of my concerns is that he might cast her in this. Don't rule out the possibility just because YOU think he won't do it!
  • hahaha
    "considering he usually casts her most of his movies" Not much wiggle room on that one, Billington. He has put her in one, and you didn't mean it as a joke - if you did, it wasn't funny.
  • Ryan
    Someone jumped the gun on this story. He is NOT the director but a CONSULTANT! that deal is done but there is no deal for him to be a director of the film (as of yet) even though Craig is pushing it.
  • Cody
    Awesome, I bet Mendes action scenes wont be a blur either (QOS). Lets hope they get some good writers, but Im also a little weary just because hes never really done an action oriented movie.
  • FuCK_AMera
    Slan Man, u r so witty and smart dawg. u should wright you're own movie
  • Bryan
    Winslet has only been in one of his films, and she was perfect for that role. Your making it sound like hes Tim Burton who just shoehorns Helena Bonham Carter into everything he does. And even if he wanted Winslet in Bond 23, I'm pretty sure that the producers Broccoli and Wilson have the final say on casting, just like how its always been for the casting of any major role in a Bond film....
  • hahaha
    #34 - don't point out the amazing inaccuracies in these stories anymore, as they're "opinions", not news. Which means you'll find most of what's posted here is actually contrary to the truth, right Billington?
  • sonnychiba1
    Bring back Martin Campbell. He did for Casino Royale what Guy Hamilton did for Goldfinger. Genius!
  • John
    This is truly awful news. Mendes is a tired old reactionary socialist who makes "art" films (i.e. movies no one wants to see). His films all have the obligatory hate America/England motif strung through them and are truly dull. This idea of having edgy high-brow directors direct Bond has already failed with Marc Foster, who threw away the best of Casino Royale and made a pointless Bourne copy. Depressing, especially with the stagey, pompous, Frost/Nixon writer thrown in for good measure. No wonder MGM are in trouble.
  • Alec
    @37 "No wonder MGM is in trouble." Well, as far as Bond movies are concerned the last 2 did make tons of money: CASINO & QUANTUM both made more than a billion dollars worldwide. This is not counting DVD/BluRay sales,TV/Cable rights etc.
  • Ryan
    DO you know who would be an interesting choice for director? Kathryn Bigelow. Just saw Hurt Locker again and thought of Point Break. Probably would never happen though. Yet again, Mendes is NOT (yet) THE DIRECTOR. HE'S A CONSULTANT!
  • RPD
    #35 - More news and less opinion would be awesome...
  • ryderup
    Track record doesn't matter. Get a great director and you get great films. Even though I din't like Revolutionary Road I think that Mendes is an excellent choice. Bringing heavyweight directors instead of all the Brett Ratners, McG's or that Ghostrider-director is a great way to go. Even if Foster didn't get it completely right with QoS. (but I think both Craig films have sucked, the script and dialouge in Casino Royale suck)
  • Quanah
    This is a blogging site. Don't lose site of that. If you don't like it go to a site like comingsoon.net. Well, Mendes is a seasoned dramatic director. Not all of his films are fantastic, but they are all solid. It will be interesting to see what he does with the 23rd Bond film.
  • branden
    haha I guess if you correct or say something that belittles the editors it gets deleted. There was no cussing or anything, just proving these guys wrong.
  • deltavoyage
    Nice to see a high profile director land the next Bond. With Peter Morgan co-writing the script and Sam Mendes directing (if he really is directing), my guess is that we're in for a helluva ride. I look forward to it.
  • stew
    The only movie he cast Winslet in was Revolutionary Road. Don't try to say you were "half-joking" about that.
  • rep6
    39 knows what he is taking about Kathryn Bigelow would make a great bond director (also worth checking out strange days btw) After the brilliant reboot that was Casino royale... QoS massively disappointed me i think going for a dramatic director with NO experience of action was a mistake. surely the producers must see that?? after the forster experience none of the mendes films makes me think he will do a good job on bond. p.s. dont think forster directed any of the action sequences in QoS im sure i read that it was Dan Bradley aka bourne 2nd unit director sounded to me like the producers didnt have the confidence in either to do a good enough job on there own
  • Ricardo
    Am I the only one to love Jarhead? I think that movie was amazing, beautifully shot with outstanding photography. And the actors were great on that one. My favourite war movie, even though it doesn't have much action, that's exactly the point, if you missed it it was not the movie for you. And since when would Kate Winslet do bad to a movie?! Are we talking about the same actress? And alex, it's a though crowd, you should know that by now 😛
  • Sumit
    Kathryn Bigelow is a great idea and she would do wonders with a action heavy Bond film. QOS had fairly average set pieces (surprising as it cost so much money too)
  • Ryan
    #46, I thought Strange Days was one of her best works, highly enjoyed it.
  • Ed
    They should get James Cameron. It won't ever happen, but it would be fucking awesome.
  • rthe_d
  • #1 Bond Fan
    I think Mendez deserves his chance with Bond... You never know he might just surprise us.... Look at the preliminary scene: http://www.3dmovie-trailer.com/2010/02/black-and-gold-james-bond-23.html It's not all so bad... He might just stick to the classic while innovating all at the same time. And we could end up with a brand new type and standard for James Bond
  • Starmaker1995
    I was speaking to my great friend, the great sports player and the brilliant poet Dinesh R Makwana on a plane and he told me that if I met Sam Mendes that I should tell him to consider the Great Canyon Skywalk for a Bond location. Dinesh believed the variables for an action sequence for Daniel Craig would be outstanding at the Grand Canyon and very original too. So, Sam Mendes, backing the brillant Dinesh R Makwana, consider the Great Canyon Skywalk for the next Bond masterpiece. Thank you Mr Mendes
  • senthil kumar
    Anyhow i want next 007 movie`s Super Hit Only... 
  • Kirk
    Now if they could only kill off Craig.

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