Sam Mendes officially agrees to make time for both James Bond and Willy Wonka

Sam Mendes officially agrees to make time for both James Bond and Willy Wonka

After the smash success of Skyfall, Bond franchise producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli were eager to get Sam Mendes on board to direct Daniel Craig in the next installment of the long-running series. But a dangerous, shadowy figure stood in their way. That man's name? Wonka. Willy Wonka.

Yes, the wily chocolatier lured Mendes away with either the promise of scrumdiddlyumptious delights beyond imagining, or the threat of a chocolate-melting laser aimed at his gobstoppers. Either way, Mendes quit the Bond series, in order to direct a musical adaptation of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory on the London stage. But in March, Mendes changed his tune, bribing a disgruntled Oompa Loompa to smuggle out a coded message, indicating perhaps he might be available to make giant piles of money in the form of another Bond film, assuming he can belch out enough fizzy lifting drink to return to solid ground. 

And after a daring escape involving exploding chewing gum (unclear as of press time whether the gum was a creation of Wonka or Q Branch), Mendes is finally, really, truly, officially, reporting for duty as the director of what is, for the moment, being called Bond 24

As a sop to their defeated nemesis, the producers have allowed Wonka to at least postpone Bond 24, which will hit theaters November 6, 2015 in the U.S., and October 23 in the UK. In the meantime, to make sure he doesn't get distracted by other tempting projects, they are most likely keeping Mendes safely ensconced in a plexiglass prison, deep in the heart of their inner sanctum. Because no one ever escapes from those.