'Skyfall' Director Sam Mendes Will Not Be Back for James Bond 24

March 6, 2013
Source: Empire

Sam Mendes / Daniel Craig

Last month we heard that director Sam Mendes was seriously considering a return to the James Bond franchise after his stellar installment Skyfall wowed audiences last year (it was also my favorite film of 2012). However, it sounds like the filmmaker has now had a reluctant change of heart. Empire recently spoke with Mendes and he will not be returning to direct James Bond 24. He said, "It has been a very difficult decision not to accept Michael [Wilson] and Barbara [Broccoli]’s very generous offer to direct the next Bond movie." It sounds like commitments to the theatre will keep him busy over the next year or so.

Mendes (who we interviewed last year) explained, "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." The question is whether or not this changes the plans for Bond 24. One of the reasons Mendes was reconsidering returning to the franchise was because the next film would be a standalone sequel, abandoning the idea of a two-part back-to-back story, written by John Logan (Skyfall). Could this back-to-back Bond tale come back if a new director decides to agree to a two-picture deal? Only time will tell.

As for how producers Wilson and Broccoli are handling the news, they said, "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 now there's a very promising job opening across the pond. Who can step up to follow the box office and critical success of Skyfall? It's a tough job, but there's plenty of great filmmakers out there. Any suggestions?

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Reader Feedback - 28 Comments


Probably for the best. I hope the next villain is more James Bond-like again. Since Craig arrived on the scene, their plots have all been a bit too down-to-Earth. Good for awhile, but where's the 007? No nukes, no space lasers.

OfficialJab on Mar 6, 2013


I personally like the down to earth feel of these past few Bond films. If they want to go the route of space lasers, I'd suggest waiting until Craig has finished his stint as Bond and let a new actor take that role.

Chase on Mar 6, 2013


I agree. I just hope we don't take it this seriously forever. Bond isn't high art, and I think we've gotten as close to it as we ever will, now that we've gone with Sam Mendes of all people.

OfficialJab on Mar 6, 2013


I agree with you. I miss the feeling of the classic 007. Sam Mendes gave us a taste of that with Skyfall. But I think James Bond 24 should be Mr. Craig in his most classical James Bond performance to the max. Give him a little more gadgets. Give him the new Aston Martin DBS with weapons on it. Give him an organization that he needs to infiltrate and actually spy on. Give him a truly insane villain (Silva was pretty wacky but he just wanted to kill M and that was about it).

Luis Eduardo Ortiz on Mar 6, 2013


The real reason is that he saw this video and said to himself "oops!":

David Banner on Mar 6, 2013


Someone is bound to suggest QT.

David Banner on Mar 6, 2013


No way in hell he'd work with that studio. Constraints galore.

bozo connors on Mar 7, 2013


Matthew Vaughn

truong18 on Mar 6, 2013


Time to bring in Mr Chris Nolan

Abhinav on Mar 6, 2013


Every time there's a suggest-a-director discussion, Nolan's name unquestionably will appear. He did watch 007 when he was younger (I think he's actually said it was the first movie he saw) so I wouldn't rule it out. I'm not sure it's his thing, though. His movies don't really have a sense of humour about themselves, and that could be a tragic mistake for a Bond film. It's what kept me from loving Skyfall as much as I wanted to.

OfficialJab on Mar 6, 2013


he said he wanted to direct a bond film

dgeet on Mar 6, 2013


Eep. I'm sure it would be good, but we'd continue drifting away from what 007 always was. It could be a good thing, but we already have Bourne. I'd like to keep this series out of reality as much as possible. I will say this: he's a hell of a creative storyteller. At its fundamentals, Skyfall was just 'bad ex-agent comes back' and that's it. Powerfully told, but not inventive. If he brings his Inception pseudo-scifi brain into it, then I might come around.

OfficialJab on Mar 6, 2013


I agree that they were straying from the formula. Which I find to be more to my liking because I was born in 91. But skyfall found some middle ground.

Jon Odishaw on Mar 6, 2013


I think the best possible successor is JOE WRIGHT

MR ! on Mar 6, 2013


I agree with all these mofo's. Wright, Nolan and Vaughn are all great choices. Really wanted Mendes back though. Oh well.

Guest on Mar 6, 2013


I agree with all these mofo's. Wright, Nolan and Vaughn are all great choices. Really wanted Mendes back though. Oh well...

Nielsen700 on Mar 6, 2013


Couldn't go wrong with Martin royale is still probably my favorite.

Jon Odishaw on Mar 6, 2013


I think I liked Goldeneye more. Oh, wait.

OfficialJab on Mar 6, 2013


Well played

Jon Odishaw on Mar 6, 2013


Oh, thank God.

Jim on Mar 6, 2013



福 赐 天上 on Mar 6, 2013


I feel like I'm the only person who wouldn't want Nolan to direct a Bond movie. I don't think he's very good at directing up close and personal fights, which is something James Bond tends to do a lot. I understand that Inception had the big building in the snow with a lot of guys fighting a few guys in a sort of Roger Moore era fashion but personally I just don't think that is interesting enough if it's any sign of what he would do with a Bond movie. Sam Mendes wasn't an obvious choice and that's why I think he was such a good choice. It also didn't hurt that they had Rodger Deekins.

Zero on Mar 6, 2013


Danny FUCKING Boyle

Don Le on Mar 6, 2013


When I first herd the title "Skyfall" I imagined the sequel would take bond to space. Obviously, that wasn't the case. But, how cool would it be if Bond 24 unveils a secret space program, some swanky space station orbiting the earth or moon. Espionage in space needs to come back with Craig. Do it realistically, privately funded space project;) Virgin Galactic meets Moonraker!

Matt Gaser on Mar 6, 2013


No space. Ever.

$45974493 on Mar 6, 2013


Skyfall was poor as an action thriller and very poor as a Bond film. This therefore is great news though I have to blame Broccoli and Wilson for caring so little for the quality of the films they are putting out and being more interested by Bond related fragrances. Casino Royale gave the franchise a healthy dose in the arm but QoS was a step back and Skyfall a step to the side. Instead of milking the emotional memories of the franchise to mask the jumbled, stumbling emptiness of the recent films, they should take a long look at the damage their creative apathy is bringing to the franchise.

Payne by name on Mar 6, 2013


You do seem to be an expert on apathy...

OfficialJab on Mar 6, 2013


I think Daniel Craig had a good run, but it's time to re-cast Bond and bring back more of the globe-trotting adventure of the previous movies.

castingcouch on Mar 8, 2013

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