Earlier today Empire published a new item saying that Sam Mendes would not be back for Bond 24. However, shortly afterwards it was pulled from their website.
The news item is now back and, according to Empire, Mendes told them in an exclusive interview that “It has been a very difficult decision not to accept Michael and Barbara’s very generous offer to direct the next Bond movie”, citing other commitments, such as theatre, for his reason for declining the invitation to return.
While Skyfall was widely praised and passed $1.1 billion at the box office, whoever takes the next Bond film on has a huge task ahead of them; it is going to be hard to beat the expectations of audience, producers and studios.
Furthermore, much of Skyfall‘s success is almost certainly to the extensive publicity surrounding the 50th anniversary of Dr No that kept James Bond firmly in the mind’s eye of the public throughout 2012. Bond 24 is going to do without that and, as such, will be a regular Bond movie.
Despite not returning, Mendes has carved a clear path for the next film in the series, after reintroducing Moneypenny and Q, and introducing a new M with the traditional office.