Sam Mendes To Direct James Bond 23 [Updated]

Published 5 years ago by , Updated August 16th, 2013 at 1:12 am,

[Updated: Deadline Hollywood is reporting from inside sources that Mendes is being brought on as a consultant and that financial/contracting issues are holding them back from actually signing a director. They still have Mendes as a candidate to direct and this could all be just contractual maneuvering. Daniel Craig really wants Mendes involved from their previous work on Road to Perdition and after Quantum of Solace received a lot of criticisms. Read about it here.]

Out of the negative news of MGM financial issues and production delays for the 23rd installment of the James Bond film franchise in recent months, comes a ray of light in the form of what may be very talented Oscar-winning director helming the next Bond movie, tentatively titled Bond 23.

The Heat Vision blog is reporting that British-born director Sam Mendes is in negotiations to direct the next James Bond film and sequel to last year’s Quantum of Solace.

Sam Mendes has a very impressive resume which includes critically-acclaimed hits such as American Beauty, Road to Perdition and Revolutionary Road. Rotten Tomatoes isn’t always the most accurate way to judge movies or those involved in creating them, but I think it’s absolutely noteworthy that Mendes sits with a 100% fresh rating.

While Martin Campbell’s Casino Royale – the essential reboot of the franchise – was widely praised for being a top-notch film and bringing James Bond back to the top of the action hero genre, its sequel Quantum of Solace (directed by Marc Forster) wasn’t nearly as well-received.

I wasn’t much a fan of Quantum of Solace, mostly due to its sometimes-unwatchable action sequences (zoom that camera out and slow it down, please). Needless to say, I’m psyched at the idea of Sam Mendes helming Bond 23 and I think he’s one we can trust to make a high-quality film on par with Daniel Craig’s first outing as the Double-O agent.

Bond himself, Daniel Craig, said last fall that the next Bond would likely start filming in late 2010. However, we’ve more recently heard that production has been put on hold until MGM solves their bankruptcy issues. Fortunately, this no longer seems to be the case as production is reportedly being fast-tracked for a possible start of principal photography this summer and a release date sometime in 2011.

Described as a “shocking story,” the script is being penned by Peter Morgan alongside 007 regulars Neal Purvis and Robert Wade.

What do you think of Mendes commanding Bond 23?

Source: THR

Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. Well, I’ll express the same concern I expressed when Marc Forster was announced to be directing the sequel to Casino Royale. This guy doesn’t seem experienced with action movies. While his dramas might have been good, does he know how to put good characters and drama to good action like Martin Campbell seems to excel at?

  2. I think that’s why QoS came out the way it did. Marc Forster was inexperienced with action movies, so he overcompensated with way too much ridiculous action and not enough story telling…

  3. I enjoy Sam’s work, and think that he will do a fine job. Bond films have their own
    predetermined formula, its a matter of his taste and ability. He directed Daniel in Road to Perdition, which I really enjoyed.


  5. Sam has directed some action in his films – I do agree QoS was over washed with action sequences, which made it more difficult to hang on to. If I look at my watch in any movie, it’s notches it down as a result of pacing. Casino Royale plays a bit smoother to me, out of the two new Bond films. I guess we always know whats going to happen, it’s just a matter of how. Story telling more often than not takes a back seat to multi million dollar “wow effect” sequences that are little more than filler in several films, its just a matter of when to stop with it. Indiana Jones 4 felt solid, until the overuse of effects overcame it. I still enjoyed it, but it was’t as real as the first 3. / rant :)

  6. Its not aboutOscars,its about the story .
    The last one wasnt that great.

  7. I just don’t understand why they are going to overlook the director who brought us back, unless Director Campbell does not want to direct right now. Why through a wrench in the formula especially because it has taken so long to get away from that slap stick stuff, the fluffy dialogue during the Roger Moore period and the want a be tough guy stuff during the Bronson’ s reign. Even though I like Bronson personally for his environmental stands. I had not look forward to a Bond film since Sean Connery was in Never Say Never. I saw Casino Royale on DVD and was mad that my girlfriend the doctor had not told me about the subplots and incredible jumping stunts especially in the beginning. She just gave me a very elliptical response when I ask about the film and sad Daniel wasn’t her type. Well I think he is solid. He originally wouldn’t have been my first choice but he is proven himself.

  8. I’ve been saying that they need to get Campbell back. They tried for the whole oscar nod director thing with Marc Forster, didn’t one of his movies get nominated for an Oscar? Crash? Anywho, obviously that’s not the key to success when it comes to Bond…

  9. I think Sam Mendes is an amazing director, but he is so unimaginably wrong for Bond, they need to stop hiring great character directors and remember what this franchise is meant to be about! Spies. Action. Guns. Girls.

    Someone like Pierre Morel is a far better choice. After Casino Royale I was so happy Bond had been reinvigorated for modern times, I love almost all of the movies regardles of their age or who was playing the part as each one brings something different to the role of Bond, but then came QOS.

    And it proved lightning cant strike twice. Bond 23 needs to be closer to a Brosnan Bond, less silliness but it needs to be slightly less serious, this is meant to be Bond not Bourne or Bauer.

  10. I kind of agree, kind of disagree. Disagree mainly with Brosnan’s Bond. I didn’t like any of the Brosnan movies other than Goldeneye, I thought the others just got more and more ridiculous with the gadgets that it started to seem like Bond can’t accomplish anything without the gadgets. While Casino Royale made it so it’s more about Bond’s capability than anything else, and that’s what made it so good. But that’s just my opinion.

  11. @ Ken J

    We have discussed this more than once, and I genuinely value your opinion on Bond matters.
    Perhaps I meant more back to the charm of Brosnan movies, the odd gadget or one liner, I was thinking more Goldeneye than Die Another Day.
    Bond should have the skills to get out of any situation, that is why he is a 00 agent, but a gadget or two wouldnt go amiss. And bring back Moneypenny lets see Daniel Craig being lecherous, and Q, even if just in a small capacity. I want Bond to be Bond, Casino Royale was meant to be him becomming who we all know he can be, lets see some pay off from that.

    Lets see his confidence and skills really show through, not blundering about like a bull in a china shop, killing without thinking, Bond is meant to be intelligent as well as deadly.

  12. Shocking story? Is 007 capable of being shocked? Are we? Have we seen it all?

    It sounds like maybe some personel story with bond’s background or maybe M dies. Who knows?

  13. I will reserve all judgement until I see a trailer for this film, which will sadly be many moons from now.

  14. @ Packy

    Never trust a trailer, if QOS taught me anything its that!

  15. Guns, girls, action?

    If it was just that, this franchise would fall down again. We got enough of just that with Brosnan towards the end of his run and QoS tried that too much and failed.

    Mendes can bring incredible drama, characters and story-telling to this franchise like he’s done in the past with his previous works. We saw hints of action in Road to Perdition and Jarhead but Bond shouldn’t be about shootouts and gunplay anyway. Casino Royale, anyone?

    He’s also tapped to do Preacher which I expect big things from. If he’s doing Bond, I don’t know what it means for that project.

  16. @ Rob

    What is Bond about then?

    It means guns, girls, fast cars, crazy action sequences, over the top villains and some of the best one liners in film history to me.

    The problem with QOS was the way it was film and scripted, all of the action sequences were edited to hell and done at a slow pace, there was a half decent story in their somewhere, and the villain was awful, the girl was awful. The only two characters of any worth, Mathis and Fields, were killed off.

    QOS was everything a Bond film shouldnt be.

    A mix of the visceral intensity of Casino Royale and the wit and charm of Goldeneye, a villain like Sean Bean would be nice too.

  17. @DrSamBeckett

    I know trailers can’t be 100% trusted, however; they give me a feeling for the film. I don’t get that same feeling just reading about it, or the creative staff behind it.

    @Rob Keyes

    I thought I read that Sam Mendes has only been brought on as a consultant, with an option to direct. Whereas Craig and EON may want him to direct the film, Mendes has not agreed to direct it…yet.

  18. @Rob

    Casino Royale had some of the most intense action scenes put on film! Sure it wasn’t an overdose of over-the-top action like QoS was, but it wasn’t just a drama with little touches of action either. Martin Campbell gave us the perfect combination of both elements. That’s why I think he should be brought back. :-)

  19. @ Ken,

    That’s fine but Campbell isn’t coming back (For Bond 23, anyway).

    As for what you’re saying about Casino Royale, why can’t Mendes do that too? Everyone he does is quality, I’m willing to give him a shot with more action.

  20. @ Packy,

    I say that he’s in negotiations to direct. Check out the THR Link I source. I updated with the link you provided – thanks for the info!

    Some sites are saying he’s already attached to direct but I wanted to be specific in saying he “may” direct and that he’s in negotiations.

  21. @Rob Keyes

    It’s all good. I wasn’t criticizing you’re article, only letting you know that I had read something a little different elsewhere. On the whole I find your reporting to be top notch. Thanks for the update.

  22. I’m a Martin Campbell supporter — he knows how to direct action sequences without resorting to “jitter-cam” and he also knows how to allow iconic characters to be their iconic selves, without feeling the need to intrude on the story with his own quirks.

    I also think Pierre Morel would absolutely hit it out of the park. I’d love to see what he’d do with Bond.

  23. @Rob

    I’m not saying he definitely can’t do it, but all of this sounds exactly like the same arguments I got when I said I didn’t think Marc Forster was the right person to do QoS…

  24. Im completely with Ken J on this one, Mendes isnt right for this movie, especially when this new Bond really hangs in the balance on this next film, Bond movies are huge productions.

    I’m not saying Mendes cant handle it, I love American Beauty but nothing else he has done has really struck a cord with me, Road To Perdition is ok. Jarhead is awful.

    People thought Marc Forster would be able to handle doing a Bond flick, he failed miserably, QOS is an absolute trainwreck that never hits its stride, super slow action, bad camera work, severely dodgy effects ( what happened to all practical effects and no CG? ) with the jumping from the plane being the worst offender.

    Bond 23 needs to come back with a real bang, making it entirely a character piece will not work, Casino Royale hit the nail on the head. Maybe this new Bond was a one trick pony.

  25. You know, one thing that kind of pissed me off about Campbell’s other Bond movie, Goldeneye, is the fact that the damn trailers and commercials gave away that the villain was 006… I kind of wish I would have watched that movie without seeing the commercials…

    But anyway, so far unless this third Daniel Craig Bond movie is good, it looks like it’s the Brosnan films all over again. The first one directed by Campbell and is very good, then the rest, blah…

    I hope not…

  26. Yeah I remember that too. Goldeneye was the first Bond movie I saw at the cinema, having on the others on video, Brosnan was my Bond while I was growing up, so I even like his bad movies.

    And I know you are not a fan, but I love Tomorrow Never Dies, some of the best action ever in any Bond movie, and I like the jokes in that one. I know it sort of loses it halfway through and the villain is a bit weak. But I love it.

    World Is Not Enough is pretty awful, a complete waste of having Robert Carlyle is the villain.

    Die Another Day doesnt actually count as a movie, it is a pure homage to the Bond films of old, in joke and references only, might have been better without Halle Berry.

  27. The beginning of Die Another Day was kind of dumb and Halle Berry definitely hurt the movie in my opinion. But the overuse of gadgets in that one was probably the worst offense…

    Man, now I want to go watch Goldeneye and Casino Royale again…

  28. Mr.Mendes please make sure that you hire singer “Mathew Santos” to sing the theme for this next Bond movie.