Empire has just exclusive revealed that Sam Mendes will not be returning as rumoured to direct Bond 24.
Mendes was reportedly reviewing John Logan's script for the next installment and making his decision about whether he would return. Given that Skyfall has absolutely stormed box office records and been a critical - and most importantly - commercial hit that no Bond film has previously been anywhere near, Mendes was always going to be offered to come back. After speaking with Empire however he has revealed that he will not be returning, stating that:
“It has been a very difficult decision not to accept Michael and Barbara’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."
To be honest, I am happy with this in a way. I loved Skyfall but I wasn't sure on Mendes' return. He stated prior to release that he said everything he wanted to say about Bond within it, and so it felt to me that him returning would simply be for the sake of it rather than adding anything new. It could still be great I'm sure, but thanks to Casino Royale and Skyfall we are now more than ever in a position to see visionary directors coming in and bringing their own unique vision to the franchise. Which is of course a good thing.
Sam Mendes has not ruled out a possible return to the franchise further down the road, which would absolutely give him time to come up with new ideas and themes to explore with the character. So I'm not in any way worried or disappointed with this news. As long as we see someone else of Mendes' calibre come in, of course.
So now that we are definitely looking for a new director, who would you like to see take up the mantle?