Sam Mendes is too busy to helm the next James Bond film. The Skyfall director cites a full schedule as the reason behind his decision to step away from the franchise—for now. While Mendes’ award-winning Bond film literally made a billion dollars at the box office, the director is staying true to his word and walking away after only one movie—even though it seemed for a time that producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli would be able to coax him to sign on for a second.
“It has been a very difficult decision not to accept Michael and Barbara’s very generous offer to direct the next Bond movie,” Mendes told Empire Magazine. “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 Broccoli and Wilson seem more than open to the possibility of Mendes returning to the 007 fold at some point in the future. In a statement sent to the magazine, the producing pair told Empire “We thoroughly enjoyed working with Sam, he directed our most successful Bond movie ever… 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.”
Mendes isn’t opposed to the idea, either: “I feel very honoured to have been part of the Bond family”, said the director, “and very much hope I have a chance to work with them again sometime in the future.”
It isn’t all bad news for Bond, though. Daniel Craig is set to return to the 007 role and Skyfall co-writer John Logan has also signed on to pen the script for the 24th Bond film. Oh, and don’t worry, it looks like they’ve locked down Oscar winner Adele, too.