Looks like the upcoming James Bond flick—the 24th in the franchise—could be director Sam Mendes’ last.
Nothing good lasts forever. While Martin Campbell’s “Casino Royale” successfully managed to reboot the James Bond franchise, going for a more grounded and character-based approach to the series, Sam Mendes’ “Skyfall” really took things to the next level. Rather than simply going bigger and crazier than its predecessor, the film made things more personal for James Bond, and became a compelling piece with some serious real-world consequences.
While of course the script played a big role in the movie’s success, director Sam Mendes was obviously a large contributing factor as well. Coming off of more deeply personal stories like “American Beauty,” “Road to Perdition,” and “Jarhead,” this was a director who knew how to make things real for the MI6 agent.
Although Mendes was rumored to be helming both the 24th and 25th Bond film some time ago, it looks like the British director is calling it right now with the release of “Spectre”…sort of.
“I said no to the last one and then ended up doing it, and was pilloried by all my friends. But I do think this is probably it… I don’t think I could go down that road again. You have to put everything else on hold. It feels almost, even though we’ve just finished shooting [“Spectre”], like one big experience and it was a fantastic life-changing thing … It really is more a lifestyle choice than job.”
Between Mendes’ two Bond films, it took him five years, a significant investment in anyone’s life, especially since filmmaking is notorious in its ability to completely take over one’s life. Moreover, “[‘Spectre’] is a bigger movie than ‘Skyfall.’ It’s shot in more places … It’s been an enormous undertaking.” Exhaustion has undoubtedly long since set in for the director.
While having Sam Mendes return for the next picture would help make things conveniently consistent in style for a trilogy of films, James Bond really is a series that’s meant more for one-offs than anything else. Stick too long running with one director, and the potential for retreading on themes increases. That being said, if “Spectre” maintains the quality of “Skyfall,” I wouldn’t have a problem seeing Mendes come back for one more go.
“Spectre” hits U.S. theaters on November 6, 2015. Do you think this is Mendes’ last stab at a Bond flick? Let us know your thoughts below!