It is still not clear whether or not Daniel Craig is officially finished with James Bond, but if the actor who revitalized the character leaves it behind, he’ll have company. Sam Mendes, who helmed two back to back Bond flicks – 2012’s Skyfall and 2015’s Spectre – that collectively earned nearly two billion dollars, has confirmed, as he indicated to Deadline late last year, that he’s done with the 007 franchise.
“It was an incredible adventure, I loved every second of it,” the American Beauty Oscar-winner said today while attending the Hay festival in Wales. “But I think it’s time for somebody else.”
Mendes wasn’t attached to the next Bond film, which is currently in early development, and in an interview with Deadline’s own Mike Fleming last November he all but said outright that Spectre was his last outing with Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
“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,” Medes said at the time. And when asked if he’d return if Daniel Craig did, he was more direct. “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.”
Mendes echoed similar thoughts today in Wales. “I’m a storyteller,” he said. “And at the end of the day, I want to make stories with new characters.”
This marks the second high profile gig Mendes won’t be taking. In December, he bowed out of the job directing the New York production of his hit London stage musical version of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory.
In the meantime, it’s looking increasingly like Daniel Craig will in fact not be returning. He’s been vocal about wanting out, and has already lined up his first non Bond starring role since 2011’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, finalizing a deal this week to join Katherine Heigl in Steven Soderbergh’s heist film Logan Lucky. Several actors have been talked about as potentials to fill 007’s shoes, among them Idris Elba and The Night Manager‘s Tom Hiddleston — Hiddleston, by the way, was reported this week by film site Birth.Movies.Death to be in early talks to take over the role.
As for Mendes, he’s lined up his next project as well, teaming up with DreamWorks on the screen rights to Gay Talese’s April, 2015 article for The New Yorker, The Voyeur’s Motel. The piece tells the story of Gerald Foos, a lifelong voyeur from Colorado who opened a hotel primarily so he could watch guests having sex (through ceiling vents as it turned out). Foos ended up complicit in a murder after he flushed the drugs of a dealer down the toilet; after the dealer subsequently blamed his on girlfriend, he strangled her.
The Guardian first reported on Mendes’ comments at the Hays festival.