The jury is still out as to whether or not Daniel Craig (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) has another 007 outing in him, one big player in recent Bond film history seems to have chosen their fate. Sam Mendes, the Oscar-winning filmmaker who directed the last two Bond films – Skyfall and Spectre – appears to be done with the franchise. So while the internet is debating on possible Craig replacements, it seemed nearly assured that whoever next sips that shaken not stirred martini will not have the American Beauty director calling the action.
At the Hay Festival, via The Guardian, Mendes reported stated:
It was an incredible adventure, I loved every second of it. But I think it’s time for somebody else. I’m a storyteller. And at the end of the day, I want to make stories with new characters.
Mendes came to fame in theater before branching out into feature film – his debut film American Beauty (1999) won five Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director. Since, he has directed prestige fare including Road to Perdition (2002) and Revolutionary Road (2008). Mendes’ two Bond films earned nearly two billion dollars collectively at the world box office and took home three Academy Awards, a feat that may be hard to top for the venerable long running film series inspired by the works of Ian Fleming. Furthermore, Skyfall was nearly universally hailed as one of the strongest Bond entries of all time.
Mendes previously stated: “There is a sense of completeness that wasn’t there at the end of Skyfall, and that’s what makes this feel different. It feels like there’s a rightness to it, that I have finished a journey,” When prodded if he may return if Craig were attached, Mendes said, “I’ll probably be doing something else… What is important is, not doing it is not a negative. It’s not me saying, ‘I don’t want to do this.’ What it would be is me saying, ‘I really want to do this story.’ There are other stories to tell.”
That may be that. For the time being, the debate continues over who may take over for Craig if does indeed exit the franchise. The likes of Idris Elba (Beasts of No Nation), Tom Hiddleston (High-Rise), and most recently, Jamie Bell (Snowpiercer) seem eyed for possibilities…online fans have even suggested Gillian Anderson (The X Files) should be tried as a female Bond. Mendes, however, reminds that producer Barbara Broccoli is the only opinion that matters on terms of casting. Mendes said, “It’s not a democracy. Barbara Broccoli decides who is going to be the next Bond, end of story.”
Watch this space as more details on Bond 25 come to light.