Sam Mendes Won’t Direct “Bond 24″

Sam Mendes and Daniel Craig won't be on a set together for "Bond 24."

When a movie is a huge success, producers will do everything they can to reunite the creative team for the sequel. At least that’s what you’d hope for in the case of the follow up to “Skyfall,” the most successful film in the James Bond franchise. For “Bond 24,” the most important person is already locked in: Daniel Craig as James Bond. Other characters played by Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw, and Ralph Fiennes are presumed to be back. John Logan, who wrote “Skyfall,” is also set to write “Bond 24.”

One key person won’t be back, though. Sam Mendes told Empire Online that he has too many other commitments to direct the next Bond movie:

“It has been a very difficult decision not to accept Michael and Barbara‚Äôs 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…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.”

Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, producers of the Bond movies had this response:

“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.”

So now who should direct “Bond 24?” Mendes seemed like an out of the box choice–a theater director whose movies tended towards quiet, award winning fare, like “American Beauty.” He had never directed a large scale action movie before. It seems, then, that the Bond producers would do themselves a favor by again looking for someone who will surprise us. Any ideas?

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