Sam Mendes Won't Direct 'Bond 24'... Who Should?

Sam Mendes won't direct next James Bond movieAfter 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?

  • adu

    That's a shame.

    I would love to see what Danny Boyle can do with a Bond movie.

  • Khaira

    Danny Boyle yes plz....his frantic yet entertaining style coupled with his British sensibility makes him the ideal candidate IMO....

  • Mike W

    I find Danny Boyle waaayyyy too pretentious.
    David O. Russell would be interesting. And just for dream sake; Steven Spielberg. I mean, his reason for making Indiana Jones was because they wouldn't let him do Bond. The franchise is enjoying the best success they've had since the 1960's. Why not shoot for the moon?

  • Bertram J. Krogh

    Danny Boyle is an interesting choice. Like Mendes, he has a really unique style, and can direct almost any kind of film -- in any genre. Brad Bird is another filmmaker who has recently proven to be brilliant in this genre (with Ghost Protocol, if you are unsure). Honestly, I don’t care who they are going to choose, because I trust them to not screw it up after such a global success as Skyfall. The director they’ll wind up with is probably perfectly suited, no matter who it is.

  • Jack

    Tom Hooper

    • Newbourne

      I was going to say Hooper right now. He's coming off of two huge successful films that have gotten a lot of awards attention. Although they were hits at the box office, it's time for him to think bigger! I can see him helping Bond 24 hit 1 billion. Hopefully he casts Michael Sheen in their somewhere.

  • Kessler

    I'm sad that Mendes won't direct it because I loved Skyfall.

    I guess Christopher Nolan would be my top choice because he's talked about wanting to do a Bond and I'm a big fan of him. Not so sure about Joe Carnahan, but Danny Boyle could be interesting. What about Tom Hooper? He's just coming off Les Misérables and could definitely be considered. Actually, I think he would be a good choice.

    • Chris138

      James Bond in close ups and weird angles! Make it happen!

  • Cordia

    Danny Boyle could do it..Nolan would be my number 1 choice.
    Ridley Scott, Guy Ritchie and Paul Greengrass who did Bourne and is British would also be considerable.

    • Fox

      I like the Greengrass idea. . . but definitely NOT Danny Boyle. I don't like him.

  • Rolocop

    After seeing THE INTERNATIONAL, I always thought Tom Tykwer should direct a Bond movie. He'd direct the hell out of it!

  • Andrew J.S.

    Joe Wright?

    • Nick

      If we are talking strictly British filmmakers, he would be my first choice. Then Boyle (although he said he wouldn't do it), Nolan, Joe Cornish and Duncan Jones.

    • adu

      Excellent choice, didn't think of him, but after seeing Hanna, the guy can do wonders to Bond visually

  • AS

    Guy Ritchie. People take the piss out of him, but he's a talented director.

    • Luke M

      God, Ritchie would be awesome! He definitely doesn't get the recognition he sometimes deserves

    • Criterion10

      Snatch is a great film, though I personally didn't care for RocknRolla. I actually don't believe I finished that one.

      • Criterion10

        Ah, forgot to mention Sherlock Holmes, another one of his films that I've seen. Really didn't like that one at all. So, yeah, he's a one-hit-wonder in my book.

        • Chris138

          Sherlock Holmes is decent, but I haven't really liked anything else Guy Ritchie has done. His visual style is fine but I think he is a pretty incompetent storyteller.

        • AS

          You should watch Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. If you liked Snatch, you'd probably like that.

          • Criterion10

            I have heard good things about that one. Been meaning to catch it for quite some time.

  • SmartFilm

    I'd love to see Brad Bird take over. That way it wouldn't be too dark and moody, like recent iterations, but it would have a lot of gravitas and excitement.

  • andy bowden

    Duncan Jones, he da man

  • theJackal

    Chris Nolan, please! It's high time Barbara Broccoli and Co. hire the most amazing director of epic spectacle currently working in motion pictures (apologies to Joss Whedon, but you need a few more hits under your belt). Besides, Nolan has said he's always wanted to direct a Bond flick.

    Thems the facts

  • AC Rich

    I think David Fincher would be a solid choice. He has the perfect style of filmaking for the edgy type of Bond Film. It would definitely match the direction in which Wilson and Broccoli would like the franchise to be. Plus, he has worked with Danial Craig in the past. I would have a hard time believing that Bond 24 wouldn't be successful with Fincher in the directors chair.

  • Criterion10

    While I think Sam Mendes did a fine job with Skyfall, his direction still felt a little too derivative to me, although I would partially blame the screenplay itself due to that as well. I hope that someone good replaces him, although I can't think of any names that really excite me at the moment. Danny Boyle and Christopher Nolan are definitely two fine possibilities, however.

  • Steve Stager

    The thing people are overlooking here with the next Bond is the rumor we have been hearing for awhile now that it is a two-film story. Which director wants to take two (maybe three) years out of his schedule to work only on this story? Although after seeing Hanna, I would love for Joe Wright to do this as, like Brad, it was my favorite film that year. I don't think I can handle all the comparisons to The Dark Knight if Nolan would take this gig.

  • Connor420

    Nolan, Fincher, Boyle, or Affleck. Tarantino would be nice, but that's kind of unrealistic.

  • G-Man

    My dream would be either Nolan or Tarantino - but as others have said, not likely.

    Michael Mann would be a great choice - not sure he'd go for the PG-13 though.

  • Chris138

    Nolan would be cool, but I feel like Skyfall already feels like a Bond flick that was made by him. Danny Boyle would probably be my choice to do the next one, I think he'd be really interesting. And I do like Joe Carnahan but I doubt he'd be able to commit fully. He was supposed to do Mission Impossible 3 and pulled out after a year's worth of pre-production.

    So yeah, I say they should go for Danny Boyle. I'm kind of surprised that Mendes said no, but I guess he can go out on top with Skyfall rather than having the risk of doing something lesser next time.

  • Paul

    If Greenglass directs it'll be the worst bond movie since License To Kill. You also won't beable to see anything with the shaky camera syndrome.

    Danny Boyle could do a good job, I mean, let's face it, people are saying he's pretentious, have they ever watched Sam Mende's films? And look how good he did.

    I for one wish nothing more than a third return of Martin Campbell, who directed two of the top 5 bond movies by far, "Goldeneye" and "Casino Royale."
    Oh and the singer should be Sia (who sings She Wolf/Falling To Pieces if you are not sure who she is) or Lady Gaga.

    • Patrick

      Licence to Kill is seriously what you consider to be the last "bad" Bond film? It has classic Bond moments, incredibly human motivations, and a handful of Fleming nods!

      Not starting a war at all. You're entitled to your own opinion, but what makes it so bad for you?

      I definitely agree about Campbell returning though. I think he could use it after the Green Lantern flop.

      • Sir Trey

        I don't LOVE Licence to Kill but I definitely didn't think it was terrible...if we're talking "worst since" it'd be pretty hard, for me at least, to sink below Die Another Day. I've got that as second-worst in the entire series, only ahead of the absolutely abysmal Octopussy.

        And Sia's an interesting and certainly quality choice. I'd stay far, far away from Gaga, a Bond theme should have some gravitas and iconic qualities that she just doesn't have. I enjoy her music and she's a very good pop star, but the purely pop acts they've recruited in the past have delivered pretty meh themes.

        Sia's a really good idea, but I've wanted either Muse or Florence + The Machine ever since Adele was announced for Skyfall. Few mainstream bands do spectacle better than those two; on Muse's end, it's been too long since a proper rock band has done a theme, and on Florence's end she could certainly handle the scope.

  • matto

    rian johnson

    • G-Man

      Now that's a good call.

      • Fox

        An American has never directed a Bond film, so I doubt they would start now going American now. . .

        • The Movie Guru

          Yeah. Johnson could be who they go for. He has the background and the ability to do a film like that if the budget doesn't overwhelm him.

  • Fan

    It's a really shame Mendes couldn't do it. But wouldn't it be cool if Tarnatino had his chance to do a Bond film like he wanted too. I really like that idea. I believed he said it was him that started the reboot of the Bond series because he wanted to do the remake of the original Casino Royale. I would go with QT since he ain't doing anything yet. Danny Boyle or Joe Wright who would be perfect as will. How about Ridley Scott or a female director like Lynne Ramsay, you know, just a thought.

  • Abe M

    I like the idea of Michael Mann directing, but I'd be even more curious to see what Alfonso Cuarón could do with Bond.

  • Baca

    Kathryn Bigelow

    • Baca

      Or possibly Ben Wheatley.

  • GregDinskisk

    Wes Anderson's "The Bond Affairs."

  • Patrick

    Possibly a long shot, but Tomas Alfredson?

  • Maldoror

    Skyfall was crap. Bond failed at every single task he was given.

    • Bertram J. Krogh

      Don’t speak your opinion like it’s a fact, everybody loved that movie.

      • Maldoror

        Bond failed at everything. The movie was mostly about M, not Bond, and she failed at everything too. Even Moneypenny failed. They were all very good at sitting around while trying to explain the plot, though. There was very little good action. The cybercrime plots was worthless, the Bond girls were forgettable, and the ending was like Crocodile Dundee. Well, almost like Crocodile Dundee. Crocodile Dundee actually managed to save the woman.

        • goodfella676

          who are you?

      • AJ

        I have to admit, I finally saw it just before the Oscars, and I didn't love it. There was a lot to admire, and I really enjoyed some scenes, but the plot of the whole thing was poor. It relied way too heavily on an insane villain to excuse the completely illogical things he does... But even that doesn't excuse the completely illogical things the good guys do.

  • Mitesh

    Matthew Vaughn, anybody?

  • Mitesh

    Matthew Vaughn meets all the criteria. British. Check. Fan of the series. Check. And is a very close friend of Daniel Craig. I'm really surprised that no one brought up his name.

  • Geoelevation

    Danny Boyle would make a very interesting Bond movie.

  • Darren

    Rupert Wyatt.

    The soul and humanity he was able to bring to "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" was encouraging, not to mention the action scenes were well done. Considering he just left "The Equalizer," maybe he'd take a look at Bond.

  • Well

    There's so many out there - pick one, let us know. I wonder if the real reason Sam doesn't want to return is the pressure of "Best Bond Yet" and "First to break a Billion" and "biggest UK Movie Ever". Loads to live up to and expectation would be huge- It's easier to leave on top than try to outdo your own previous effort. Who knows.. only him really.

  • Sir Trey

    A few potential directors, in no particular order:

    Brad Bird - Ghost Protocol was excellent, he's got the action pedigree. Alas, there's Tomorrowland.
    David Yates - Has already handled a huge franchise in Harry Potter.
    David Fincher - A long shot, obviously, but he'd likely knock it out of the park.
    Steven Spielberg - He wanted to make one for years, why not now?
    Kathryn Biigelow - About time Bond was directed by a woman, and she worked on a lot of action in the 90s. Her style right now is excellent and she's creatively on fire, though I'd be interested to see her apart from Mark Boal.
    Darren Aronofsky - He was close to accepting The Wolverine so he's not opposed to franchise fare. Certainly a unique style.
    Matthew Vaughn - He directed Craig's breakout Layer Cake, and meanwhile Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class were among my favorite picks.
    Kenneth Branagh - After Thor, I'd love to see his Bond.
    Marc Webb - I know he's tied up in Spider-Man but he's a great young talent.
    Neill Blomkamp - If we're going to go gritty and shaky, I'd much rather have him than Greengrass.
    Tom Hooper - I'm not so sure but it's an interesting idea.
    Christopher Nolan - Obviously.
    Duncan Jones - Bond isn't very sci-fi but Source Code was one of the most pleasant surprises in recent memory...if he could bring that sentiment to Bond, the series would be better for it.
    Ben Affleck - If he was at all considering Justice League than Bond isn't out of the questoin.
    Rian Johnson - Another young sci-fi talent on a bit of a roll recently.

    I like Ritchie's work but wouldn't want that style for Bond. Going Greengrass would be reductive considering he directed Bourne. And Carnahan...just no. Far too manic.