James Bond isn't the type to harp on one love, but it seems that he could uncharacteristically end up waiting for someone in particular...for the next occupant of the director's chair. Despite initially bowing out, citing a commitment to theater productions, Deadline is reporting that Skyfall director, Sam Mendes is in talks to return for the next entry in the Bond franchise.
With its $1.1 BILLION take, last year's Skyfall was undoubtedly the most successful entry in the half-century, 23 film (24, if you count the unofficial Never Say Never Again) history of the franchise in which Bond battles terrorists, spies, and STDs. Considering that its 2008 predecessor, Quantum of Solace, which carried the same Bond in Daniel Craig only grossed $586 million (about half of Skyfall's take), the folks behind the Bond franchise must have come to the conclusion that the critical ingredient in the winning formula involves Mendes. However, with Mendes keen on returning to his first love of the theater, the temporary vacancy erupted rumors of other helmers taking the "Bond 24" job like Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive, Bronson), David Yates (The Harry Potter franchise), Ang Lee (Life of Pi, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), Tom Hooper (Les Misérables, The King's Speech), Shane Black (Iron Man 3, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang), and recently, even the auteur of avant-garde action himself, Christopher Nolan.
Yet, despite huge names like that in the mix, the behind-the-scenes focus of the franchise stewards kept turning back to Mendes. Indeed, when he initially bowed out of "Bond 24," due to theater commitments with a production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and King Lear, the overlords of the Bond brand in producers, Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli ultimately decided that Mendes was worth the wait and have altered the production schedule of the upcoming Bond film so that he could fulfill his theater commitments. In fact, according to the report, the wait for Mendes won't create too much of a delay and production of "Bond 24" could commence as soon as next year.
So, it looks like Mendes will be trading his Willy Wonka golden ticket for another pass to MI6's secret lair and the scheming of Goneril for Bond's gonorrhea. While in 2006's Casino Royale, Daniel Craig introduced us to a darker, tortured, more badass version of Bond, Mendes managed to add vulnerability into the mix with Skyfall, while not sacrificing any of that tortured badassness that we have come to expect. "Bond 24" with Sam Mendes back at the helm should be quite the heavily-anticipated spectacle.