Sam Mendes rules out return as James Bond movie director

Says he has theatre and other commitments


Filmmaker Sam Mendes has confirmed that he will not be returning as the director for the next James Bond movie.

The British director, known for critically-acclaimed movies American Beauty, Road To Perdition, Revolutionary Road and 1917, had tackled two Bond films —2012's Skyfall and Spectre (2015), starring Daniel Craig as the iconic spy.

In an interview with UK entertainment news outlet Empire, Mendes said he received a "generous offer" from franchise producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli to direct a new film but he decided against it.

"Directing Skyfall was one of the best experiences of my professional life, but I have theatre and other commitments, including productions of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' and King Lear, that need my complete focus over the next year and beyond," Mendes said.

The most recent entry in the spy series was 2021's No Time To Die, which was directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga. It marked Craig's final appearance as Bond.

Mendes' previous directorial effort was romance drama Empire of Light (2022), featuring Olivia Colman, Micheal Ward, Toby Jones and Colin Firth.