Sam Mendes Will Not Direct the Next James Bond Film

by     Posted 1 year, 175 days ago

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Last year’s Skyfall was a massive hit in every single sense of the word.  The film was met with universal praise from critics, with many hailing it as one of the greatest Bond films of all time, and enjoyed an equally enthusiastic response from audiences as the film has thus far grossed over $1 billion worldwide.  Much of the film’s success is due to director Sam Mendes, who crafted a take on the character that was at once familiar and exciting as the filmmaker was able to call back to the Bond films of old while also exploring the question of where a spy like James Bond fits into our modern society.  It’s a wholly thrilling moviegoing experience, and it’s a testament to Skyfall’s quality that it stands as one of the best films of the very crowded 2012.

Soon after Skyfall’s success, the question began to turn to whether Mendes might consider returning to the franchise for the next film.  The director went so far as to come up with another story idea for Bond 24, but it appears that he ultimately won’t be getting back into the director’s chair this time around.  Hit the jump to read on.

sam-mendes-judi-dench-skyfallSpeaking with Empire, Mendes confirmed that after considering a return, he has decided not to helm the next Bond film:

“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. 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.”

Though I understand that Mendes has a very busy schedule in the near future, it’s still disappointing to hear that he won’t be coming back to the franchise.  Skyfall is impressive enough on its own, but it’s crazy to think that the pic marks Mendes’ first foray into the action genre.  Though Mendes rules out a return in the next film, he admits he’s still open to coming back to Bond sometime down the road:

“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”.

John Logan—with whom Mendes hatched the idea for Bond 24—is still onboard to pen the script as longtime Bond screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade have also exited the series following Skyfall.  Hopefully Wilson and Broccoli can rope in an equally exciting filmmaker to take the helm of this next installment.  Mendes certainly set up a lot of new players in the Bond universe, and I’m eager to see where they’re taken in subsequent films.  What about you, readers?  Who do you think should direct the next Bond film?

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  • JM

    Matthew Vaughn, Danny Boyle, Nicholas Winding Refn

    • Zack

      The thought of danny boyle directing a bond movie aroused me

  • Mike

    I think at the very least we’ve entered an era where great directors are clamoring to direct James Bond movies.

  • kanwar

    Quentin Tarantino……how cool will be that…

    • matt

      no

      • tarek

        Double No

    • Person

      Love Tarantino, but no. And besides, Live and Let Die is basically a Tarantino Bond anyway haha

    • Judas

      tRIPLE nO.

  • Steve

    Michael Bay no doubt!

    • Gab

      I hope you’re kidding lol
      The succes of skyfall is due to the fact that there is almost no gadget.
      With michael Bay, it’s would be 2 hours of camera turning around the characters. Bond bimbos and a CGI abuses

  • Victor A. F.

    Nicolas Winding Refn, Darren Aronofsky, Christopher Nolan

  • will

    It has to be Matthew Vaughn. He’s already done two almost-Bond movies (Layer Cake and X-Men First Class), one of which actually starred Daniel Craig.

  • Nomis1700

    Tom Hooper said he’d be interested.

  • SSR@

    Christopher Nolan…

  • jordan

    Thank God!!! Get that silly drama out of Bond. I hate this stuff about “this is where I grew up” and “im so sensitive.”

    Bond can never be the same again after Craig and Mendes. He’s forever an emotional pussy.

  • Devin R.

    I’d be interested to see what David Fincher could do with a Bond film. Plus, he’s worked with Craig before…

  • englishgent

    Nolan has already statedTHAT BOND IS HIS DREAM JOB!

  • ophrahnoodlemantra

    I hope it’s not Chris Nolan.

    Danny Boyle, Tom Hooper, or Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu would be interesting.

  • Paul

    Alfonso Cuaron, Darren Aronofsky, or Bryan Singer

  • aaronsullivan

    I’m sort of glad Mendes isn’t coming back. Not because the movie was bad, but it was only okay for me and it was just unexciting overall. Villain was great situations were thought-provoking, but I’m already ready for a new voice to take on Bond.

    Mixing it up works for me. :)

    • Person

      Yeah, me too. Loved Skyfall, but I don’t wanna get another Bond movie just like it. If they keep making Skyfall-esque Bonds, then Skyfall itself becomes less special. I’d really like for them to go back to making more standard Bond movies. Craig hasn’t really done one of those yet. Also, I love Nolan but I don’t like the idea of him doing a Bond movie. Mendes basically just made a Nolan Bond, we don’t need two of them. Also Nolan would demand a lot of freedom, I doubt the producers would give him that much slack.

  • JJ

    Refn, Nolan, or Fincher, in that order.

  • David Mediano

    I think that Christopher Nolan would be a suitable predecessor for the next James Bond movie, after all the successful action movies that he has directed in the last years, such as Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, Inception,…
    Other possibilities could be Matthew Vaughn, Doug Liman, Guillermo Del Toro, Danny Boyle, Nicholas Winding Refn,…
    Sam Mendes should continue his magnificent work with Skyfall though, and direct a couple movies more.

  • mad man

    Before anyone starts calling out directors take a look at their schedule first …..some of them are already have alot of projects on their plate.

    • tom

      if Mendes is out because of prior commitments, then surely Nolan is too, as he’s directing this tiny, independent movie called Interstellar, you may have heard of it.

      although his schedule is pretty booked up, i like someone’s previous comment about Nicolas Winding Refn doing it. that just sounds like a prospect too good to pass up. however, i could get behind someone like Danny Boyle. and while we’re throwing names out there, how about Niels Arden Oplev?

  • Bibblebuss

    (softly in a childs voice) noooolaaaaan….

  • JW.

    Let’s look at this logically, they’re not going to have a newish director take on Bond, they’re going to want someone who can make a hit. someone who has proven to work with a franchise. Someone who is capable of working with many big ego’ed actors have have them all mesh well together. Someone who can bring Bond to the next level… not saying this as a fanboy, not saying this as someone “Drinking the Kool-Aid”, I’m saying this at a logical point of view, Nolan is the best choice to take on the next Bond film.

    • Alan B

      “they’re going to want someone who can make a hit. someone who has proven to work with a franchise.” Which explains Sam Mendes’ appointment.

  • Marlboroliteman

    I have two words…..Morgan Freeman…..enough said.

  • ap30

    Danny Boyle or Matthew Vaughn please.

  • mrlawry

    I’d be very interested to see a Guy Ritchie bond movie.

  • JH

    I absolutely did not care for this Bond film at all. It had a few moments here and there, but the horrible third act did it in. No cool gadgets (a radio…really?), a confused role for the not really hot Bond girl, a laughably bad totally non threatening villain that once pulls that old cliche of explaining his plans for just long enough for Bond to foil them. Lame

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  • oneiwob

    Kathryn Bigelow. It’s time for a woman to helm one. Bring back Olga Kurylenko as Camille too. Her and Bond still need to consumate their relationship. Also bring back Jeffrey Wright the best Felix.

  • Sean

    I respect the fact that Bond is British and yeah needs a British voice, but I am sick and tired of the hatred of American directors and Americans in general. You do not have to agree with my government…Lord knows I don’t..but don’t be hating us all the time.

    I love visiting the UK and love London…feel very comfortable there but come on don’t rule out an American director just because he or she is an American.

    Having said that I don’t want an American styled Bond film either. Just hate the hatred :(.

  • Sean

    I respect the fact that Bond is British and yeah needs a British voice, but I am sick and tired of the hatred of American directors and Americans in general. You do not have to agree with my government…Lord knows I don\’t..but don\’t be hating us all the time.

    I love visiting the UK and love London…feel very comfortable there but come on don\’t rule out an American director just because he or she is an American.

    Having said that I don\’t want an American styled Bond film either. Just hate the hatred :(.

  • Steve c

    Paul greengrass, director of the Bourne films.

  • GI

    Bond has always been directed by Brits and will probably stay that way. The list of British directors is short:

    Ridley Scott
    Peter Yates
    Danny Boyle
    Terry Gilliam
    Christopher Nolan
    Paul Greengrass

    Nolan won’t be asked as he’s expensive and will want full control.
    Ridley Scott is wrapped up in Prometheus 2.
    Peter Yates is a great choice after the Harry Potter films.
    Terry Gilliam might be too weird for Bond.
    Danny Boyle, but he’s never done action.
    Paul Greengrass, as his Bourne movies are great.

    • jesup

      Terry Gilliam directing Bond? Uhhhhh no thanks.

    • Person

      They already made a Paul Greengras Bond movie, it’s called Quantum of Solace…

  • Yaheard

    Danny Boyle
    Matthew Vaughn
    Paul Greengrass
    Kathryn Bigelow
    Rupert Wyatt
    Alfonso Cuaron
    Guy Ritchie

    Any one of those reasonable choices would bring a refreshing take on Bond.

  • Caerbannog

    Kenneth Branagh (OK he’s tied up with Cinderella for a while but after that maybe?)
    and what about Ralph Fiennes. He’s most certainly going to be available and SONY gets a discount on director and actor salaries.

  • flipbook

    Who cares? Am I the only one who thought Skyfall was trash? I liked the locations but nothing else much.

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