Recently there were rumours speculating that Sam Mendes, director of Skyfall, was 75% returning to direct Bond 24. Mendes made Bond a worldwide box office phenomenon with Skyfall, which became the most successful James Bond movie of all time. Not only that, but Skyfall went on to become the most successful British movie of all time, so naturally, fans were very keen to see him return.
Sadly Mendes spoke with Empire this week and revealed he would not be returning for the 24th Bond film, here is what 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. 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 (a new musical adaptation, in the West End) and King Lear (at the National Theatre in London in 2014, to star Simon Russell Beale), that need my complete focus over the next year and beyond.”
This is indeed very sad news as Mendes created something very special with Skyfall, and sadly there is now a huge amount of pressure on whichever director picks up the 24th film. Whether the next director can reach the dizzying heights of Skyfall we will have to wait and see, but the 24th Bond film is already being written by Skyfall writer John Logan. The 24th Bond film will see Daniel Craig, Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw and Ralph Fiennes all return.
Longtime Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson are obviously saddened that Mendes will not be back for the 24th Bond film, and they had this to say on the directors departure:
“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.”
Mendes did offer a possible ray of hope when he said:
“I feel very honoured to have been part of the Bond family and very much hope I have a chance to work with them again sometime in the future.”