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Sam Mendes passes on Bond 24

Skyfall

Story by Jack Foley

SAM Mendes has turned down the chance to direct the next James Bond movie, according to Empire magazine.

The Oscar-winning filmmaker, who helped Skyfall to break box office records and win a clutch of awards (including BAFTAs and Oscars), said he was asked to return by producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli but after giving it serious consideration had decided to pass.

“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 Empire.

“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.”

However, Mendes didn’t rule out a return at some point down the road, saying that he “very much” hopes he will “have a chance to work with them again sometime in the future”.

This was a view endorsed by Broccoli and Wilson who said they respected his decision to focus on other projects and “hope to have the opportunity to collaborate with him again”.

Skyfall screenwriter John Logan is currently working on a script for Bond 24, which will bring back Daniel Craig, Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw and Ralph Fiennes for the latest 007 adventure.

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