The Associated Press is reporting that Sam Mendes is officially finished with 007. The director—who helped inject some much-needed life and character into a post-Quantum Of Solace James Bond with 2012’s Skyfall (and then admittedly kind of coasted for its follow-up, Spectre)—has said that it’s time to move on from the franchise.
Mendes’ comments reiterate sentiments he expressed last July, when he suggested that he “probably” wouldn’t be returning for a third shot at lavishly photographed tuxedos and filming the world’s biggest explosions. But that hedged bet now appears to have become as unhedged as the front lawn of the Society For The Professional Removers Of Shrubs, with Mendes telling reporters, “It was an incredible adventure,” but, “I want to make stories with new characters.”
Mendes also briefly weighed in on the questions surrounding who the Bond in the next movie will be, mostly to make it clear that the producers of the Bond films don’t give a shit about who we want in the role. “It’s not a democracy,” Mendes said, noting that producer Barbara Broccoli “decides who is going to be the next Bond, end of story.” To be fair to Broccoli, her last pick, Daniel Craig, was harshly opposed by Bond fans at the time he got the role, and has been a huge boon for the franchise over the course of the last four films. (Even if he’s now going around starring in Steven Soderbergh movies, and talking about how he’d rather slit his wrists than play the part again.)