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“Skyfall” Director Sam Mendes Might Return For Bond 24

(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images for Sony Pictures)

To say that Sam Mendes’ run in the James Bond director’s chair was a success is a major understatement.  2012’s “Skyfall” ended up making over $1.1 Billion world-wide and is now the 8th highest grossing film of all time and the most successful Bond film in the franchise’s 50 year history.  It only seemed natural for EON Pictures to want to keep as much as that winning formula as possible.  EON has reportedly gone to great lengths to not only bring back Daniel Craig for his fourth turn as Bond, but have Oscar-winner Adele return as the first repeat theme singer since Dame Shirley Bassey, and Sam Mendes as the first back-to-back director in over 20 years.

Sam Mendes, though pleased with the results of “Skyfall”, quickly shot down the offers to return to the director’s chair for Bond 24.  It wasn’t a matter of not wanting to do another film, but Mendes’ first love is the stage and he had a few commitments, such as “King Lear” and a west-end production of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” that is set to have a run on Broadway, that would keep him from being able to return.  Producing siblings Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli resigned themselves to looking for another director to fill the chair, reportedly courting high-profile directors Ang Lee (“Life of Pi”), Shane Black (“Iron Man 3″), and Christopher Nolan (“The Dark Knight Rises”), with Nolan being a long-time fan favorite for the directing duties.

But now Deadline is reporting that Wilson and Broccoli have decided to wait out Mendes’ theater commitments and get him signed up to direct again, possibly starting production as soon as 2014.  While Bond has had a rotating list of directors over the past 20 years, with only Martin Campbell returning for a second go with “Goldeneye” and “Casino Royale”, the franchise could benefit from a touch of consistency, especially given the impressive success of “Skyfall”.  Nolan is an amazing director, but likes doing things his own way, and doing that could derail Bond’s current success with a sharp change in tone.

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