Sam Mendes officially turns down James Bond 24

News Simon Brew 6 Mar 2013 - 11:07

The director of Skyfall, Sam Mendes, will not be directing the next James Bond adventure after all...

Rumours had been rife that, hot off the success of Skyfall, director Sam Mendes might be tempted back to the director's chair on the next James Bond movie. The thus-far untitled Bond 24 is set to shoot at the end of the year (from a script by John Logan), for release in 2014, and Mendes was the running favourite to direct.

However, it's not going to happen.

While James Bond 24 presses ahead, Empire is reporting that Sam Mendes has officially declined the chance to direct the film. "It has been a very difficult decision not to accept Michael and Barbara’s very generous offer to direct the next Bond movie", Mendes said, explaining "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".

Mendes doesn't rule out returning to direct another James Bond film in the future. But for producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson, the search is on for someone to fill Mendes' shoes. No easy task, although Rupert Wyatt has just dropped out of directing The Equalizer...

Empire.

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