After directing Skyfall, which is now the highest grossing James Bond film ever with $1.1 billion worldwide, Sam Mendes has decided to pass on directing the next outing in the franchise after it was beginning to look like he would return as recent as mid-February.
Speaking with Empire magazine, Mendes said, "It has been a very difficult decision not to accept [producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli'] very generous offer to direct the next Bond movie. 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."
Wilson and Broccoli also responded saying, "We thoroughly enjoyed working with Sam, he directed our most successful Bond movie ever, Skyfall. 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."
Skyfall co-writer John Logan is said to have thoughts for Bond 24 "in the form of two treatment papers outlining a rough idea of the plot." Original word was they were going to write two films and they would be filmed back-to-back, a proposition Mendes wasn't at all interested in, but it seems now he won't be involved at all... the search begins.
Who would you like to see considered? I'm sure Christopher Nolan is the first name most of you are thinking of, but what would you think of a Joe Carnahan-directed Bond film? Or how about Danny Boyle?