When you have a successful film, you want to keep the team together for the sequel. Unfortunately for the James Bond franchise, it looks as if Skyfall‘s team captain, director Sam Mendes, won’t be coming back for the film’s follow up.
Citing a number of projects already on his schedule, including two stage plays, Mendes told Empire that he would not be returning to take the British secret agent on another globe-trotting adventure -
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.
Well, this definitely flies in the face of previous reports that Mendes was “75 percent certain to return,” that circulated last month. When discussing that story, I did note that if he were to return for a new franchise installment it would have to wait until he finished with his two stage obligations.
So it’s a mixed bag for Bond fans. The next Bond installment won’t be delayed while Sam Mendes directs two plays, but it also means that Bond 24 won’t be directed by Mendes. Presumably the hunt for a new director is already underway.