‘James Bond 24′ Director Sam Mendes Talks About Finishing ‘Skyfall’ Story

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James Bond with Aston Martin James Bond 24 Director Sam Mendes Talks About Finishing Skyfall Story

James Bond might have been on the big screen for over fifty years, but he hasn’t allowed his age (or occasional change of visage) to hold him back. After so many car chases, fight scenes, passionate love affairs and showdowns with nefarious bad guys, he’s probably earned a holiday or two.

There’s no rest for the wickedly charming, however, and Daniel Craig will return in the role of James Bond next year, in a sequel that’s been dubbed James Bond 24 until it gets something more official. Also returning is director Sam Mendes, who first entered the franchise with 2012’s Skyfall and ended up handling quite a few major changes to the supporting cast.

In an interview on The Charlie Rose Show, Mendes talked about the reasons behind his initial reluctance to return to the James Bond franchise after making Skyfall, as well as the itch to finish telling a story that eventually convinced him to come back for another round.

“I started a number of stories that were incomplete. I cast a new M, I cast a new Moneypenny, I cast a new Q, I cast a new Tanner. There was a missing piece now. I felt like there was a way to create the second part of a two-part story. And then I started to get really interested again, when they agreed to wait a little longer and not go immediately and not go with two movies but with one, which I felt very strongly about.”

Last year there were rumors floating around that Mendes would return to film both James Bond 24 and James Bond 25, but since then the director has only been confirmed for one more venture within the franchise. Based on this interview, it sounds like Sony was originally pushing for Mendes to make a trilogy of sorts, and to make it as soon as possible, but his reluctance eventually led to a two-parter being planned instead. It also seems clear that Mendes doesn’t have any plans to direct James Bond 25 – at least, not for the moment.

NaomieHarris2 James Bond 24 Director Sam Mendes Talks About Finishing Skyfall Story

Garnering specific details about the plot of James Bond 24 and who the villain might be has been tricky, to say the least. Screenwriter John Logan recently joked (at least, we think he was joking) that if he revealed too much, “Sam would rappel through the window and kill me.” However, Mendes did talk in more general terms about aspects of Skyfall that he wants to bring back in James Bond 24, including the decision to keep Bond living (and ageing) in real-time.

“What we tried to do, and audiences seemed to embrace in Skyfall, was that for the first time characters were allowed to age, and they were allowed to acknowledge the passing of the years, and were allowed to acknowledge the history – in a kind of sly, mischievous way – the history of the franchise that they’ve been part of.”

skyfall james bond poster trailer James Bond 24 Director Sam Mendes Talks About Finishing Skyfall Story

Logan has also said that he kept the history of the franchise in mind when writing the script for James Bond 24 and sought ways to create resonances with past films, like the inclusion of the Aston Martin DB5 in Skyfall. Daniel Craig, meanwhile, has stated that their goal is to “reclaim some of the old irony, and make sure it doesn’t become pastiche.”

There is a tough balancing act ahead for James Bond 24. As the latest entry in a franchise that has been consistently turning out movies for over half a century, there is a lot of pressure to prevent the characters and stories from feeling stagnant or repetitive, and to pay homage to their history without relying too much on in-jokes and fan service. Hopefully the recasting of so many characters in Skyfall will allow James Bond 24 to be a fresh start as well as a concluding chapter.


James Bond 24 will be released in the U.K. on October 23, 2015, and in the U.S. on November 6, 2015.

Source: The Charlie Rose Show (via CBM)

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  1. HEY SONY! You know that last bond film that was a sequel of sorts QUANTUM OF SOLACE…look how well that did and how well received it was! Bond films should be stand alone. I will admit there are still some open plot-holes from Skyfall. Like that hard drive containing info on the undercover agents…what happened with that? Seems like something the government wouldn’t want that still out there in the wrong hands!

    • There’s nothing wrong with making sequels for Bond, QoS suffered from poor directing and writing… I believe Mendez would be able to make a sequel that’s worth-while seeing how he appreciates the Bond legacy from all of the nods to the originals he put into Skyfall…

    • “Bond films should be stand alone.”

      Since when?

    • The fact that Quantum was a sequel had nothing to do with its quality. And by the way, Quantum may have been a step or two down from Casino, but it was still 10 steps ahead of Brosnan’s last 3 Bond outings!

      • True.

        Then again, I still don’t see what was so bad about QOS. People complain about it having terrible this and terrible that but I just can’t see what they mean.

        • @Dazz

          Seriously, think about the plot for a moment, and do a summary. So the movie starts off with a car chase, which leads to a foot chase on roof tops, which leads to some other chase, which leads to a plane chase, then to the final foot chase. The End…

          • LLLLLLLLLLMMMMMAAAAOOOOOO. Its so funny because I saw the movie and after reading your great summary of it, I don’t need to see it again because you pretty much just summarized the whole movie…

      • yeah, I liked QOS very much. It was no Casino Royale but it had amazing action set pieces. I also liked the Bond girl portrayed by Olga who was a total badass with a complete character arc. i would also like to add that in the future installments of Bond i would like to see a Bond girl who doesn’t fall for him or perhaps a Bond man ???

        • I found QoS to be a good sequel, I have three complaints though:

          1) the movie is 40mn shorter and it shows.

          2) Olga Kurylenko story arc was way too cliché.

          3) the villain was a bit weak, to say the least.

      • @Ryan,

        Pierce Brosnon’s stint as Bond was excellent; the best up until Craig came along. It was Brosnons debut film as Bond that turned the franchise around and put it back into the black (meaning profitable) and would have secured him as Bond for 2 decadews or more had he been younger at the start of his Bond run as is Daniel Craig. The only reason Brosnon was cut off after Die ANother Day was because they felt he was too old to continue and they used that as an excuse to consider a reboot.

        You may have not liked his run as Bond but enough others did and the sales from those movies including after market rental and sell-thru are proof positive.

        • I totally agree. Those Brosnan movies were good. Some better than others, some worse than others but in my opinion, all four are superior to QoS. I also agree with your assessment about his end. I saw zero reason to end his run back in 2002. But having said that, I’m VERY happy we got Casino Royale and the reboot was a success. But I’m done with sequels or continuations or reboots. Just give us new, stand alone movies, like Skyfall was.

          • 2 of Brosnan’s movies were good, one is of the worst of the franchise.

            If you honestly believe that “Die Another Day” is superior to “Quantum of Solace”, I don’t know what to say. QOS isn’t terrible; it just isn’t great. But it tried, and half of it is excellent. DAD? I say it’s slightly more bearable than “Moonraker”.

            • @ACW 007

              I would say only one of Brosnan’s films were good, Goldeneye. I really didn’t like any of the other ones…

              • For what it is, “The World Is Not Enough” is a solid entry into the series. Is it on par with “Casino Royale” or “From Russia With Love”? No, it’s far from great. I can enjoy it though, as I can with “GoldenEye”. Which is a great Bond film.

        • Bronson was good as Bond. I liked him. But they were kinda right, he was getting old although make up could have help a little. He was old in his other movies hahaha so I don’t feel bad not having be bond for more movies. The bad about his movies where some of the choices for bond girls. The russian girl was the better of them all imo. Bronson’s bond movies and some Connery ones are ones I re-watch every now and then. I like Casiono but I don’t think it had enough variety to keep my attention. Quantum was uh and Skyfall I skipped or completely don’t remember what the hell it’s about.

          Craig is ok but he seriously lacks personality. To me he’s like Jason Statham. Can’t doing any other emotions or personality. Yea, there’s a bit here and there but it’s pretty much the serious look.

          • Craig is essentially what Fleming envisioned, as was Timothy Dalton. Those 2 are the ones who really fit the part: Bond is a ruthless, cold-hearted assassin with enough class to keep it all under control.

            All in all, I think Craig is brilliant at being subtle. He doesn’t need to flash emotions to show what’s going on in his head.

          • Exactly what ACW said. Bond is an ex-soldier who performs with brutal efficiency and practiced skill with enough experience to let him stay calm in these near-fatal situations. And he has guts, smarts and a certain fearlessness (“Since MI6 looks for maladjusted young men, who give little thought to sacrificing others in order to protect queen and country”) that makes him just barely better than every foe he comes across. But you can still see the effort because he’s human, not superhuman. And he has class, and he does still have some ability to step out of his killer mentality and enjoy the things in life, even if expressing it in a very conserved way.

            And all these things you can see that in Craig’s Bond.

          • And I don’t know how you think Craig is bad at expressing his emotions…just from Casino Royale alone:

            The subtle way you could tell he was upset when the girl from the beachhouse was killed

            The way he was smiling with his eyes at his cleverness when he blew up the terrorist at the airport with his own bomb

            Barely keeping himself from breaking down after the fight with the Africans.

            Smiling happily at his own cleverness when he called the dead African henchman in the trunk to frame the Russian henchman.

            Being happy but slightly embarrassed when he named the drink Vesper;

            Being absolutely and desperately devastated when Vesper died. Then after he brutally way he cut her off emotionally afterward, but even just the way he glanced at her things (on the sailboat after talking to M), you could tell that he still cared about her despite everything.

            Idk. These are just off the top of my head and I think there are a lot of examples where Craig has portrayed the subtly emotional sides and nuances of Bond.

            • Right on…He just keeps it under control. I love Craig as Bond. My other favorite was Roger Moore (mainly because he was the first James Bond I was introduced to).

            • Yup. I agree. I think Daniel Craig is what James Bond should really be like. If there is one movie I would like to remake its “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”. I think if Sean Connery made that movie it would have been the best one of all. I liked the story but not with George Lazenby. lol. Connery or Craig would make this movie a classic and maybe the best of the series. It is after all the one movie where James Bond gets married then to have her killed in their honeymoon.

        • Right you are. Each Bond lives in his own time. He mirrors the needs and trends of the time. Now it’s Craig’s time and he’s doing great guns. So let’s chill and enjoy them all for what they are or were.

  2. Here’s hoping for an adaptation of the ‘007 in New York’ short story as had been hinted at after Casino Royale…would love to see Bond in a terror-centralized plot based in New York, obviously without the permission of the CIA.

    • Sounds like Die Hard With A Vengeance there.

      • Sounds like an episode of 24.

        • Both 24 and Person Of Interest came to my mind.

  3. Exactly. I’d like to see Bond in a plot that has the same feel as Vengeance did. They hinted at adapting the ‘007 in New York’ story years ago, but we still haven’t seen it.

  4. I think Casino Royale and Skyfall have been amazing. Definitely among the best of the series, along with most Connery films and the Dalton films (not a fan of the comical Moore or Brosnan). Hopefully this one won’t be as bad as QoS, but equally as good or even better than Skyfall.

  5. I loved Skyfall.

    I hope Logan can do it again. The guy has talent but can also be hit or miss. Gladiator is a fav also and I could watch the Aviator over and over, Hugo one of the best films ever but Star Trek Nemesis and Noah were dreadful. Time Machine not so bad but not real good either.

    The bad ones are painfully so. Just deliver more gold and were good.

    I still think Tarantino could add something that would pay dividends for years to come once Mendes is done.

  6. I know i’m gonna get shot down here because everyone seems to think Skyfall was the ultimate Bond film but I have to say I’m not too sure having another sequel OR having Mendes direct again is good news. I thought Skyfall was extremely over-hyped. I thought the villain was boring, the general storyline was boring and that last half hour or so when they were running around the fields in Scotland (at the Skyfall property) was one of the most boring scenes in Bond history. I think the reason for it’s success was twofold: 1) quite a bit of time had passed since QoS and the public were excited to see Bond again and 2) we were all victims of a very well run advertising and marketing campaign. As for Bond aging… I wish they wouldn’t. Going to see a Bond movie is supposed to be escapism, it’s supposed to be exciting and (for me) Bond should remain forever young (mid 40s ideal). I know Roger Moore kept going well beyond Daniel’s current age but they didn’t make a big deal out of it and the audience kinda just went along with it. Mendes decision to actually focus on an aging Bond (i feel) is kind of mildly depressing. We all want to see Bond young and dynamic but I wonder if aging heroes are all the rage at the moment? Look at the up-coming Batman/Superman movie… my understanding is that Batman is going to be a much older character, world-weary and bitter (that’s gonna be a lot of laughs).

    P.S to all the Daniel Craig fans – I thought Casino Royale was amazing!

  7. Though it wasn’t the best if the bunch what I liked about the first Tom Cruise MI was that he was a burned agent working as freelancer trying to prove his innocence. Maybe a Bond film where MI6 is actually hunting him down?

    • Too cliche and that was already a solid part of Quantum of Solace as well.

  8. Finally! Announced Bond 24 being a Continuation Sequel to finish with Skyfall story, GOOD THING because it does need to continue with what happens in the story of Skyfall to be make it make more sense!
    Why it has to be a Sequel because of some of the plotholes. Which means the movie does need to show
    1. How did Bond survive
    2. What happens to M later
    3. Flash backs

    • I wrote a personal novel on that subject. It’s called “Enjoying Death: The Untold Story of Skyfall”. I wrote it in Bond’s perspective, showing how he survived the bullet wounds and what was going on in his head throughout the film AND what he went through after QOS.

      That being said, we don’t need to know how he does it. It’s James Bond; the mystery makes it intriguing.

      • Spot on.

  9. I prefer the standalone approach, though I think the occasional reference to other movies helps the feel of continuity. While there was stuff to dislike in “Die Another Day”, I did like the brief scene where Brosnan was rifling through old props from the series. I liked that we got to see Moore’s Bond standing next to his wife’s grave, and later hear Felix Leiter refer to Dalton’s Bond having been married “once, a long time ago”. I don’t mind one film leading into the next; my fear with that is it will lead to this ridiculous trilogy and reboot cycle that other franchisees have fallen into. Or, even worse, that someone will decide “Goldfinger” or “Moonraker” could do with a remake, rather than tell a new story. My only gripe with the Daniel Craig series has been that they decided to reboot Bond with “Casino Royale”. Luckily for me, the movie was so great that I got over it. But Bond is a spy; he doesn’t need an origin story. I don’t think even Fleming gave his history much more than a passing hint or reference here or there. So there’s no need to start over every few years, just because the actor is changing. In fact, part of the charm of the Bond movies is that he’s a “secret” agent, but pretty much every villain he comes across has heard of him. There are realistic spy stories to be told, but those aren’t Bond stories. The movies don’t need to be overly silly, but I’d hate to see them permanently do away with the occasional wink to the audience.

  10. I was bored by Skyfall. It was nostalgic, but not made for the masses. You can tell when a film was made for the masses, they all watch it. Skyfall was made for film critics, and amateur film critics. Roger Moore was the most successful Bond because his Bond was done for fun, and for the masses. I’m sorry to all the critical critics, but I’m one of the masses. We make s***** films successful, and don’t see them as s*****.

  11. Had a man crush on Moore and then Brosnan as Bonds. When Craig was announced as the new Bond, I was extremely sceptical. Probably influenced by a lot negative press. But Casino Royale blew all traces of doubts and the doubters away. Man, that one really make my hair stand on end. Beautiful movie. Really happy with DC now. Hope he will only get better.

  12. Wilson & Broccoli at least 50% of the time do not know what they are doing. Dear old Dad, Cubby made a Bond film every 1.5 to 2 years. Their Bond arc with Craig makes absolutely no sense. Pierce was let go, & Craig was brought in to reboot & bring us a young, inexperienced 007 out of naval intelligence. Cr & QoS, were like a movie and a half because of the continuation. But then out comes Skyfall & 007 is near retirement. Bond in one film aged 10 to 15 years. STUPID IDEA & they are continuing it. Maybe in Craig’s last 007 role, the aging story would have been better suited, but bond 23, 24 & 25 deals with geriatric 007. IDIOTIC. What happened to their young Bond & his growing to wear we see Connery as in Dr. No. Skyfall a good film, but I was bored & not having any fun at the cinema. Now comes same 24 & 25. I guess in 25, 007 as mid-life crisis & falls for Selena Gomez. So Bond 26 another, REAL REBOOT with 20 year old actor.

  13. If Daniel Craig’s bond character is considered a “reboot” of the character, I would say for the future films, to reintroduce the old villains. Luv to see updated versions of them.

  14. @ Ken J

    I totally agree, Sam Mendes did a Wonderful job with paying homage to the past, and bringing life once again to the Bond fanchise.

    I bought ‘Quantum of Soliace,’ to make my Bond collection complete, plus it finished up with what director Martin Campbell started in ‘Casino Royale.’ I would love to see Mr. Bond try out new gagets out in the field, and having to explain to “Q” that it’s almost impossible to return them in one piece.

    • I liked Pierce as bond but he didn’t get any good villains. Tomorrow never dies villain was lame. Sean connery would’ve sent Moneypenny to kill that guy. Casino was the best one I’ve seen. Just the style and classic movie feel of it was great and gritty. Ive wanted for a long time to see Rutger Hauer as a Bond villian. He is so scary. Even Ahrnold would be a great villain IMHO. I love DC, he’s tough and to the point like sean connery, all the gadgets and impossible things were getting comic bookish. I like the realistic thriller style much better.