Sam Mendes Bows Out of 'Bond 24'

Posted 12:08 PM March 6th, 2013 by Jeff Giles
Sam Mendes

It wasn't that long ago that the rumor mill was telling us Sam Mendes had handed in his resignation as Bond director following Skyfall -- and it was even sooner that we heard he'd had a change of heart and was thisclose to signing a deal that would bring him back for the series' 24th installment. Alas and alack, it appears that he's finally finished with 007 -- for now, anyway.

Calling it "a very difficult decision not to accept [producers] Michael and Barbara [Broccoli]’s very generous offer to direct the next Bond movie," Mendes tells Empire that scheduling conflicts did him in.

"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."

But while he's feeling the call of the theater at the moment, Mendes didn't rule out a return to Bond duty at some point. "I feel very honored to have been part of the Bond family," he offered, "and very much hope I have a chance to work with them again sometime in the future."

The feeling appears to be mutual, too: Michael and Barbara Broccoli praised Mendes in a press release, saying, "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."

Of course, now the Broccolis need to find a replacement. Any suggestions?

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Jeff is an entertainment writer and editor whose work currently appears at a variety of sites, including Rotten Tomatoes, Paste, American Songwriter, Popdose, Dadnabbit, Diffuser, and Ultimate Classic Rock.

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