Sam Mendes did an April 10 interview on the PBS Charlie Rose show. He eventually got around to discussing Bond 24 and said the following:
–He came back to direct Bond 24 after Skyfall because “I started a number of stories that were incomplete. I cast the new M, I cast the new Moneypenny, I cast the new Q, I cast the new Tanner…There was a missing piece now. I felt there was a way to create the second part of a two-part story.” Bond 24 will be connected to Skyfall with the evolution of the characters but not “the actual narrative.”
–In Skyfall, “for the first time characters were allowed to age” in the Bond film series.
–A contributing factor to his returning for Bond 24 was that the producers were “willing to wait” and changed plans to do two films at once. John Logan was hired to write Bond 24 and Bond 25, with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer announcing the news in November. MGM and Sony last year announced an October 2015 release date in the U.K. and November 2015 for the U.S.
Mendes misspoke a bit. Rory Kinnear had been cast as Bill Tanner in 2008’s Quantum of Solace. In Skyfall, Ralph Fiennes’ Mallory took over as the new M and Naomie Harris’ Eve was revealed to be Moneypenny.
The director didn’t comment much beyond that, with much of the interview centering on a new stage production of Cabaret. You can see for yourself here: