Who can resist James Bond? Sam Mendes, that’s who.
Mendes directed “Skyfall” — the latest in the lucrative James Bond series, and one of the most financially successful movies of all time — but he’s said no to directing the next installment in the long-running franchise.
Empire scored the exclusive interview in which Mendes explained why he declined the offer by producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson to direct the next film.
“It has been a very difficult decision not to accept Michael and Barbara’s very generous offer to direct the next Bond movie,” Mendes told the British film magazine. He said directing “Skyfall” was one of the best experiences of his career, but added: “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.”
But this is not a “Never Say Never Again” situation. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)
Both sides left the door open — wide open — for Mendes to return.
“I feel very honored to have been part of the Bond family,” he was quoted as saying, “and very much hope I have a chance to work with them again sometime in the future.”
The producers told 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.”
“Skyfall” is the most successful Bond movie ever — and that’s in terms of critical and financial success. The film is a member of the billion-dollar box-office club, having raked in over $1.1 billion worldwide.
It was headline-making news when Mendes became the first Oscar winner to take on the Bond franchise, and that pedigree no doubt helped catapult “Skyfall” to Academy Award gold.
“Skyfall” was nominated for five Oscars, including cinematography, best song, best score, sound mixing and sound editing. It won two — for Adele for best song, and for sound editing.
Do you think the next Bond movie will be as successful without Mendes?
— Rene Lynch