Sam Mendes turns down the next James Bond film for a life in the theater

Sam Mendes turns down the next James Bond film for a life in the theater

Sam Mendes may have triumphed over initial skepticism to make Skyfall the most successful James Bond film ever—not to mention biggest British film of all time—but he's willing to give it all up for the theater, which is that big room with the curtains where no one comes in and demands you make a better James Bond film than Skyfall. Mendes officially excused himself from the franchise in an interview with Empire, saying, “It has been a very difficult decision not to accept Michael [G. Wilson] and Barbara [Broccoli]’s very generous offer to direct the next Bond movie. 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”—likely pronouncing it “thee-AHH-turrrr” to really drive home how he’s only interested in legitimate thee-AHH-turrrr now, like Charlie And The Chocolate Factory. Still, Mendes left the door open by adding, “[I] very much hope I have a chance” to return to the Bond series “sometime in the future.” Meanwhile, the search begins for another, presumably similarly unconventional director. This is it, Wes Anderson.