Despite the success of “Skyfall,” Sam Mendes will not return to direct a second James Bond movie. “Skyfall” has been the most successful Bond film, grossing over $1.1 billion worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo, as well as winning two Oscars.
Instead of returning to helm a second Bond film, Mendes has opted to focus on other productions, he revealed in an interview with Empire. Speaking of the decision, Mendes said, “It has been a very difficult decision not to accept Michael and Barbara’s very generous offer to direct the next Bond movie.” Mendes is referring to the Bond producers, Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli.
Mendes is an acclaimed film director whose resume includes “Skyfall” as well as “American Beauty” and “Revolutionary Road,” but he got his start in theater with productions of Stephen Sondheim’s “Assassins” as well as Anton Chekov’s “The Cherry Orchard,” which starred Judi Dench. Mendes will return to the theater in the next year and said to Empire, “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.” Mendes will also act as an executive producer in the upcoming television series "Penny Dreadful."
Mendes’ “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” will premiere at the London Palladium on June 23, notes BBC, with songs by Mark Shaiman and Scott Wittman. Shaiman and Wittman have worked as executive producers for the first season of NBC’s “Smash” and both contributed original songs to the show. The duo also won a Tony award in 2003 for Best Score for “Hairspray.”
Daniel Craig will return as Bond for the franchise’s 24th film, and “Skyfall” writer John Logan will also return to script the next Bond movie. For such a lucrative franchise, expect plenty of big names to be thrown around as speculation ramps up on who will replace Mendes. Broccoli and Wilson are open to a Mendes return, saying to Empire, “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 does not rule out returning to a later Bond film, saying he hopes "he gets a chance to work with them again sometime in the future,” notes The Hollywood Reporter.