It seems like things have been heating up for the James Bond franchise lately, and now a new—albeit unsurprising—update has arrived regarding the director of the 25th film in the series. Oscar-winning American Beauty filmmaker Sam Mendes marked a unique choice when he took the reigns of the series and helmed Skyfall, but it turned out to be an inspired pick, as Mendes ended up crafting one of the best James Bond films ever. After some wavering, he reprised his directing duties to somewhat disappointing results with last year’s Spectre, and now it appears that the Skyfall follow-up will indeed mark his James Bond swan song.
Speaking at the Hay Festival of Literature in Wales (via THR), Mendes confirmed that he won’t be returning to the franchise for Bond 25:
“It was an incredible adventure, I loved every second of it,” Mendes said of his five years working on the thriller franchise. “But I think it’s time for somebody else.”
The news comes on the heels of the rumor mill heating up about who’ll be playing James Bond in the next film. Despite ridiculous and nonsensical rumors about the actor turning down a $100 million payday, it has yet to be confirmed whether Daniel Craig will be reprising his role for a fifth time in the franchise. The actor was clearly exhausted by the production of Spectre and did not attempt to hide it during the film’s press tour, and just last week our first solid info on a potential new Bond arrived: Jamie Bell has had discussions with the producers about the role, and fan-favorite pick Tom Hiddleston is reportedly in genuine talks about the part.
All signs seem to be pointing for a new Bond for the next film, but while internet campaigns have heated up for the likes of Idris Elba, Mendes was quick to point out that there’s only one person with the power to choose the new James Bond:
“It’s not a democracy … Barbara Broccoli decides who is going to be the next Bond, end of story. I can guarantee whatever happens with it, it will not be what you expect. That’s what she’s been brilliant at, and that’s how it’ll survive…it’s not a public vote, and I think we’re in an age where everything is deemed voteable on. Some things just aren’t and it’s better that way.”
Mendes added that he hopes his successor comes from an “unexpected direction” just like himself, and indeed in considering potential Bond 25 directors a few months ago, I had a few outside-the-box suggestions.
So yeah, with Mendes now double-officially out and more solid word starting to trickle out that Broccoli is on the search for a new star, it sounds like Bond 25 is going to be an incredibly significant entry in the long-running franchise. What do you think, readers? Who do you feel should direct the next James Bond movie? Sound off in the comments below.