Sam Mendes is done with Bond & says next 007 actor will be unexpected

Saturday saw director Sam Mendes gave a talk at the Hay Festival in which he spoke about his experiences of working on stage and screen. And part of that was about directing the two most recent Bond films.

Sam Mendes directs Léa Seydoux

Mendes has worked in both theatre and film and won best director Oscar for American Beauty (1999), his debut feature film. But readers of The James Bond Dossier best know him as the director of Skyfall and SPECTRE.

During his hour long talk he reiterated that he would not return to direct another Bond film, saying he wanted a new challenge. Mendes told the audience “I’m a storyteller and at the end of the day I want to make stories with new characters”, adding ““I also believe there are directors out there who can do the job every bit as well as me. And like me with Skyfall, it should come from a slightly unexpected direction.”

Regarding the casting of the next actor to play 007, Mendes said “It’s not the X Factor,[…] Barbara Broccoli chooses who’s going to be the next Bond: end of story.”

Mendes added, “I can guarantee whatever happens with it, it will not be what you expect. That’s what she’s been brilliant at, and that’s how it’ll survive.”

Does that mean Michael G Wilson has no say in casting James Bond?

One one hand it could be an indication of him stepping back from the Bond films.  By the time Bond 25 is released Wilson will be at least 76 and I understand he has undergone heart surgery. Also note that his son Gregg, credited as associate producer on both of Mendes’ Bond films, took on a more public role for SPECTRE and is heir apparent.

But also remember that Barbara Broccoli appears to have been behind securing Daniel Craig for Casino Royale. Therefore it may simply be a reflection of how Broccoli and Wilson the job of co-producer. On the other hand Mendes is unlikely to have any real knowledge of what is currently going on inside Eon Productions’ HQ anyway.

Only time will tell.

Source: The Telegraph

David Leigh founded The James Bond Dossier in 2002. A fan of 007 since the age of 8, he is also author of The Complete Guide to the Drinks of James Bond. You can order a copy here if you don't own it already.

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