Despite the overwhelming success of last year’s Skyfall, Sam Mendes confirmed to Empire that he will not return to direct the next installment of the James Bond franchise.
Producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli attempted to sign Mendes on for Bond 24, but the Oscar-winning director declined due to previously scheduled projects.
“It has been a very difficult decision not to accept Michael and Barbara’s very generous offer to direct the next Bond movie,” Mendes explained to 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.”
Luckily, fans do not need to worry just yet. Mendes also mentioned that he has not ruled out the possibility of eventually returning to direct more Bond films.
“I feel very honoured to have been part of the Bond family and very much hope I have a chance to work with them again sometime in the future,” said Mendes.
With Daniel Craig leading as 007, Skyfall was recently awarded two Oscars for Best Sound Editing and Best Original Song for the title track by Adele as well as Outstanding British Film at this year’s BAFTAs.