Ever since Sam Mendes announced that he wasn’t going to be able to direct whatever the 24th movie about secret agent James Bond is going to be, there has been a tidal wave of speculation concerning who’s going to take his place. Everyone from Nicolas Winding Refn, to Kathryn Bigelow, to Martin Campbell, to Morten Tyldum have become the subject of Bond 24 rumors, with no one’s involvement ever developing into anything more solid than whispers. But Showbiz 411 feels that they’ve now got something solid, a piece of news that they’ve said has been “as confirmed as it can be,” and they’re reporting that the director of Bond 24 is going to be none other than—Sam Mendes.
When initially talking about coming back to the Bond franchise, Mendes said that, “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 apparently a big enough truck of money and a flexible enough schedule has been offered up to make all of his concerns moot points. According to Showbiz 411’s report, the negotiations between Mendes and Bond producers were exhaustive, but now that all is said and done, it’s looking like he’s going to be brought back for not only Bond 24, but also Bond 25 after that.
This is great news, because Skyfall was the best melding of traditional James Bond fun and the grittiness of the Daniel Craig-starring entries in the series we’ve gotten so far, and thanks to Mendes’ collaboration with cinematographer Roger Deakins, it was also one of the most beautiful films of 2012. Mendes and Bond together created a level of buzz and box office dollars that the long-running series hasn’t experienced in a long time, so it just feels right that he’s going to be staying on board. When all is said and done, could the work Mendes and Craig do over these two, likely three films cement Craig’s place as being the definitive James Bond of all time? Probably not, but it’s going to be a lot of fun to watch them shoot for that goal.