What’s next for a Mendes-less Bond 24?

Bond 24 writer John Logan

Bond 24 writer John Logan

With Skyfall’s Sam Mendes taking his name out of contention to direct Bond 24, there may be some other 007 dominoes to fall. Which ones remain to be seen but here are some of the obvious questions:

Who gets the job instead? There’s already fan chatter about Christopher Nolan and Matthew Vaughn. Nolan, director of a 2005-2012 trilogy of Batman movies, is a 007 fan and incorporated some Bond touches in those films. In turn, Mendes said Skyfall was inspired by Nolan’s work. Vaughn’s recent credits include an X-Men movie with Michael Fassbender looking Bondish in places playing Magneto in his early years.

Still, nobody outside of Eon Productions saw Mendes as a 007 director until the Deadline entertainment news Web site reported he was involved in the project. Going further back, neither Quantum of Solace’s Marc Forster or The World Is Not Enough’s Michael Apted seemed to have resumes that made fans think of a James Bond movie. Perhaps Eon hires a candidate who doesn’t seem obvious at the moment.

How does this affect Bond 24’s schedule? Hard to tell for sure but presumably searching for a director won’t make it come out any faster. It may be another strike against the idea of Bond 24 coming out in 2014.

Could this affect John Logan? Logan was brought into Skyfall by Mendes and got signed to write Bond 24 and Bond 25. Will a new director be as keen on Logan as Mendes was? Or would a new director want to bring in his preferred writer to revise whatever Logan works up?

Could this lead to David Arnold’s return as composer? Mendes and composer Thomas Newman had worked together multiple times on films and the director wanted Newman to do the same on Skyfall. Much will depend on who’s selected as Bond 24 director, but have a director other than Mendes for Bond 24 may provide an opening for Arnold to do his sixth 007 film.

Arnold wasn’t entirely gone from Skyfall; one of his Casino Royale tracks was worked into the scene where Bond switches cars and gets into the Aston Martin DB5.

Mendes tells Empire he won’t direct Bond 24

Sam Mendes

Sam Mendes

Sam Mendes told Empire magazine IN AN INTERVIEW he has opted not to direct Bond 24.

An excerpt:

“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.”

Skyfall had worldwide ticket sales of more than $1.1 billion. Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, the co-bosses of Eon Productions, had been courting Mendes to return for the next 007 film, which is being scripted by John Logan, one of the three Skyfall scribes.

No director has worked on consecutive Bond films since John Glen helmed For Your Eyes Only through Licence to Kill in the 1980s. Since 1995, only Martin Campbell has directed more than one and his two (GoldenEye and Casino Royale) were more than a decade apart.

Last month, Baz Bamigboye of the Daily Mail, who had a number of Skyfall scoops that were proven correct, said, “Mendes hasn’t firmly made up his mind about directing another Bond, but I’m reliably told he’s ‘75 per cent’ of the way towards doing it.” Evidently, the 25 percent won out.

For the full Empire story, CLICK HERE.

UPDATE: There’s a short STATEMENT on the official 007.com Web site. It repeats Mendes’s quote in Empire. It adds this from Wilson and Broccoli which was also in the Empire story:

Bond’s next director has yet to be decided, but producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli had nothing but praise for Mendes: “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.”