Sam Mendes, director of "Skyfall," is back for another spin with 007. Producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli of EON Productions, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (NYSE: MGM) and Sony Entertainment (NYSE: SNE) announced Thursday that the Academy Award-winning director would direct the 24th installment in the James Bond series. Actor Daniel Craig will also return to the role for the fourth time.
"I am very pleased that by giving me the time I need to honor all my theater commitments, the producers have made it possible for me to direct Bond 24. I very much look forward to taking up the reins again, and to working with Daniel Craig, Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli for a second time,” Mendes said in a statement provided by Deadline.
“We are thrilled to reunite the extraordinary talents of director Sam Mendes with our star Daniel Craig for the next great Bond adventure,” MGM CEO Gary Barber added. “As evidenced by the phenomenal success of our last collaboration with EON Productions and Sony, the incredible legacy of this 51-year-old franchise continues to amaze.”
This marks the second time that Mendes will sit in the directors chair for a Bond film, having previously directed 2012’s “Skyfall.” The film proved to be a massive success, pulling in around $1.1 billion worldwide and receiving widespread critical praise along with two Oscars.
As The Hollywood Reporter points out, Mendes’ involvement in the new Bond film was anything but certain. In an interview with Empire magazine in March, Mendes announced he was bowing out of the project due to other commitments. "Directing 'Skyfall' was one of the best experiences of my professional life, but I have theater 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," he said then.
The as-yet untitled 24th film in the James Bond franchise is set to be released on Oct. 23, 2015 in the UK and on Nov. 6, 2015, in the U.S.