Sam Mendes, who helmed Skyfall and SPECTRE, said, according to The Associated Press, that he won’t be directing Bond 25.
Here’s an excerpt with the key details:
“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.”
Mendes revealed his plans to step down from the series to an audience at the Hay Festival of literature in Wales. A former theatre director whose films include the Oscar-winner “American Beauty” and the somber “Revolutionary Road,” Mendes said he hoped the next Bond director would come from an “unexpected direction,” just as he had.
Of course, this isn’t the first time Mendes has made such comments.
In 2013, he said the idea of directing a sequel to 2012’s Skyfall made him feel “physically ill,” but he directed the next Bond movie, SPECTRE, anyway. Pay raises have a way of calming the stomach.
In July 2015, he told the BBC he “probably” would not direct another 007 film.
Regardless, Mendes’ latest comments are worth noting given how the Bond film series is in flux.
Bond 25, as of now, has no leading man (Daniel Craig hasn’t said if he’s coming back or not), no director, no script and no distributor.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, following its 2010 bankruptcy, doesn’t have the resources to release a Bond movie on its own. Sony Pictures, which released the last four 007 films, saw its contract with MGM expire after SPECTRE.
And, for now, the world goes round and round, albeit without a firm schedule for the return of agent 007.
UPDATE: The AP story has this passage, which raises questions.
Mendes said lobbying by fans is pointless because the decision will be made solely by the series’ producer, Barbara Broccoli.
“It’s not a democracy … Barbara Broccoli decides who is going to be the next Bond, end of story,” he said.
Does Michael G. Wilson, co-boss of Eon Productions, not have a say?