‘Skyfall’ Director Sam Mendes Won’t Return for James Bond 24

Published 1 year ago by

Sam Mendes Directing James Bond 24 Skyfall Director Sam Mendes Wont Return for James Bond 24

Director Sam Mendes’ Skyfall is the first James Bond installment to gross over $1 billion worldwide, beating out blockbusters like The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and Dark Knight Rises. Similarly, it earned unanticipated critical accolades for the twenty-third addition to a popcorn movie franchise that’s now existed for over half a century.

Mendes expressed his reluctance about directing James Bond 24 prior to Skyfall arriving in theaters, but changed his tune slightly after Daniel Craig’s third bout as 007 proved a monumental success on all fronts. However, following months of rumors and claims that the Oscar-winning filmmaker is close to accepting the job, the official word from Mendes is he’s passing on the chance.

Early on it was reported that Skyfall co-writer John Logan is scripting both the 24th and 25th 007 adventures as a two-part story (a la Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace), which was perceived as a possible obstacle to Mendes’ returning given the minimum four-year commitment. While those plans were eventually dropped, Mendes has informed Empire that his decision to step aside from the spy game for now is motivated by other factors:

“It has been a very difficult decision not to accept [producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli's] very generous offer to direct the next Bond movie,” explained Mendes. “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.”

Those “other commitments” include the Victorian horror literature television series Penny Dreadful, which Mendes and Logan are re-teaming on. Meanwhile, the 24th Bond flick begins production later this year, with Daniel Craig reprising as 007 alongside Skyfall players Naomie Harris, Ralph Fiennes and Ben Whishaw as the new Moneypenny, M and Q, respectively.

Daniel Craig Skyfall Skyfall Director Sam Mendes Wont Return for James Bond 24

Plans for Bond 24 to hit theaters by November 2014 may also be partly to blame for Mendes taking a pass. He’s admitted the extra development time allotted on Skyfall (resulting from MGM’s bankruptcy) benefitted the final product. Indeed, pre-packaged release dates were part of the reason why he’s skipped on directing other blockbusters, like when he was approached to oversee The Avengers.

However, because his Skyfall experience proved so rewarding, Mendes isn’t ruling out a return to 007′s world sometime in the future:

“I feel very honoured to have been part of the Bond family”, said Mendes, “and very much hope I have a chance to work with them again sometime in the future”.

It’s feasible Mendes could follow in the footsteps of Lewis Gilbert, who directed You Only Live Twice in 1967 before returning to the franchise a decade later on The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker. Similarly, Martin Campbell directed Goldeneye in 1995 before kicking off Craig’s run by overseeing Casino Royale in 2006. That said, don’t expect Mendes to necessarily wait 9-10 years before deciding to tackle another Bond flick.

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Who would you like to see direct James Bond 24? And before you say Christopher Nolan, remember he’s currently working on Interstellar.

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Source: Empire

TAGS: james bond, skyfall

42 Comments

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  1. Is it wrong that I’m happy about this news? I loved Skyfall but it seemed to be lacking some of the “fun” past Bonds have had. Kind of pulled a Dark Knight on us (in a multitude of ways) but unlike Batman I feel like Bond doesn’t work as well when taken out of his trappings. Skyfall was a nice one time diversion but I’d rather not see the franchise continue down that path.

    • Its the opposite for me. I felt that although there is a lot of similarities to TDK, and Sam himself even said he was inspired by Nolan’s Batman, the situations were handled a lot better here now that you have a villain who can actually be stopped thanks to James Bond.

      Honestly, you have to take in mind this was also around the time of the 50 Years celebration, they had to make it seem more special to that celebration while still keeping to the mix of classic and modern formula.

      It all comes down to preference, it really does. One person prefers a Bond movie to be like this, another disagrees in favor of something else, etc. You can’t please everyone, but you can try to get the majority.

    • I’m totally with you on this. I really did like Skyfall, but I do get the feeling that it wouldn’t be as critically well-received if the preceding film wasn’t Quantum of Solace. It’s a very decent film overall, with some of the same plot beats (and flaws) of TDK and TDKR, which came at the cost of taking away some of the usual fun stuff we get in a Bond film. In my opinion Mendes tried to do a little too much with it, and while it’s still great, I’m looking forward to something better next time. Bring Martin Campbell back for another round!

    • Thanks,and I thought i am more or less alone on this !
      Nice watch ,and a nice entry into into the Franchise,but please nopt another one right after !

      Felt story was lose,and Silver underused,or misused !
      Anyway…I want my Bond Gadgets back :)

  2. I didn’t see what all the hype about Skyfall was for. The movie was alright, but it didn’t impress me as much as I thought it would. To me it was on par with the last two. Much like Argo, it wasn’t as special as the critics and everyone said it was.

    • I feel the same way.

  3. Paul greengrass

    • Good lord, no.

    • Good lord yes

      • Good Lord,no

    • Maybe, not bad but I feel like someone else not quite sure who yet

      • Joe wright, David Fincher and Danny Boyle all sound like solid choices also

  4. :(

    I’m gonna really miss Sam. But hey, I’m happy with whatever he wants.

  5. Kathryn Bigelow :)

    • Eh…

      I didn’t like “Zero Dark Thirty” at all. Actually, pretty much everyone I know who saw that movie here didn’t like it either. And I’m American, the dislike has nothing to do with making America look good above others. I mean, my dad was so pumped for it and watched all the documentaries and everything. He felt it was handled poorly, and that it only went to the Oscars because of the subject matter. Sorry, but I have to agree with him.

      Thats just me though, I don’t really have a director in mind at the moment

      • +1, completely agree.

  6. Joe Wright should direct. Imagine the tracking shots!

    • Alfonso Cuaron has some insane tracking shots as well.

  7. Aw :( Skyfall was awesome. I was really hoping Mendez would stay on for another picture when the rumor of him directing another one hit the web.

    This is such bad timing though because Chris Nolan would make an awesome Bond pic, but since he’s working on Interstellar, that option is out the window as well.

    • Nolan will do one, it’s on his bucket list apparently. Just not yet… Maybe bond 25

    • I would love Nolan after Craig is done being Bond. I feel like Nolan is better with defining his own take on something and I think it’d be better to save his vision for another 007 rather than Craig, who already has a solid story behind his take on the character.

      • Agreed, i think he would work great with
        Idris elba or michael fassbender

  8. EON Productions (Wilson/Broccoli) are notorious for choosing film directors whose prior work would make them appear unlikely as a choice to helm a Bond film. (Daniel Craig brought Sam Mendes to them; the producers did not have him in mind at all, but were delighted he was willing.)

    EON has famously rejected Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarentino…and, perhaps, any filmmaker who will want to put his own stamp on the product. Wilson/Broccoli prefer a director they can control, because Bond films are extremely heavy collaborative efforts (by Mendes own admission).

    All this ironically makes Christopher Nolan, or someone Nolan-esque, a presumptive but not obvious choice.

  9. Aww I’m gutted, was looking forward to a second movie from Mendes, who could replace him?

    Go on then Fincher, show us what you’re made of!!

    • Fincher. YES.

  10. He did a great job of directing Skyfall however Skyfall and Quantum of Solace weren’t very good Bond movies. Skyfall is highly overrated. So I’m actually glad to see him move on and I’m sure we will see him make some good movies in the future.

    • He did a good job of directing “Skyfall”…but “Skyfall” wasn’t very good….

      ???

      It’s like the reverse treatment of Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow at the Oscars: Nominated for Best Director, films not nominated for Best Picture

      • He is a good director and it was directed well. But the script was awful. Don’t see how that could confuse you.

        • So…you’re saying he made something bad look good?

          Okay. I’ve never seen anyone really take the director’s side alone, but there’s a first for everything I guess.

          • I’m saying it was a well directed and visually stunning film. While on the other hand the story and plot was highly overrated and brought the movie down.

            • Everything Dave said. That script made me cringe the whole way through. I hated Skyfall, for the most part.

  11. Matthew Vaughn a la kick-ass and x-men

    • and he’s Daniel Craigs mate

      • Agree tht could possibly work

  12. By the way that’s some piss poor excuse to turn down an awesome movie franchise, ooh ooh I’ve got a play and some tv show to do, ooh ooh not tonight I’m washing my hair, Jesus, grow a pair Mendes!

    Very disappointed

  13. Vince Gilligan

  14. Vince Gilligan he knows how to spin a story

  15. Hand it over to Danny Boyle and watch the magic enfold !!!

    If not him, then David Fincher is the 2nd best option.

  16. Holy crap Vince Gilligan yes!!

  17. I’ve thought about Joe Wright as well… although Gilligan is a intriguing suggestion; he has directing credits on The X-Files and Breaking Bad, but has yet to direct a feature.

    I’ve pondered Colin Trevorrow, based on the Star Wars directing speculation.

    Guy Ritchie is one of my choices to direct a future Bond film as well.

  18. Quentin Tarantino.

  19. Give it to Duncan Jones or any other British director.

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