Judi Dench and director Sam Mendes on the set of 'Skyfall' (Photo: Columbia Pictures)
James Bond is coming back, and if you liked "Skyfall," we've got the news you've been waiting for.
After many months of rumors and speculation on the blogosphere, Sony Pictures, M-G-M, and EON Productions made the big announcement Thursday that Sam Mendes, who directed the mega-hit "Skyfall," is officially confirmed to be returning for the next James Bond picture. Daniel Craig will once again play the suave British super spy, and the movie (which currently has the working title of "Bond 24") will be scripted by John Logan, who co-wrote "Skyfall." The movie is slated to open in theaters on October 23, 2015 in the UK and November 6, 2015 in the United States.
In a press release, Sam Mendes said he was looking forward to the next Bond project. "I am very pleased that by giving me the time I need to honor all my theater commitments, the producers have made it possible for me to direct 'Bond 24,'" Mendes said. "I very much look forward to taking up the reins again, and to working with Daniel Craig, Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli for a second time."
Wilson and Broccoli, producers of the Bond series, repaid the compliment, saying, "Following the extraordinary success of 'Skyfall,' we're really excited to be working once again with Daniel Craig, Sam Mendes and John Logan."
Since early this year, Bond fans and film bloggers have been setting the Internet ablaze with speculation about Mendes' return to the Bond franchise. It was no secret that Wilson and Broccoli wanted Mendes back, but the director was committed to a pair of major theatrical projects – a new production of Shakespeare's "King Lear" for Britain’s National Theater, with Simon Russell Beale in the title role, and a lavish stage adaptation of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." In April, Mendes denied that he would return to the series, and soon nearly everyone from Christopher Nolan to Guy Ritchie was rumored to be in the running to helm the 24th Bond adventure. But now that the producers are willing to wait (and reportedly give the director a hefty pay raise), Mendes has clearly won out.
What remains to be seen is if Mendes will be coming back for Bond 25 as well. It was reported that Wilson and Broccoli were eager to shoot the next two Bond capers in tandem, but if this is still in the cards, the new announcement makes no mention of it.
See Sam Mendes talk to Yahoo! Movies in our "Skyfall" Insider Access:
- Arts & Entertainment
- Sam Mendes
- James Bond
- Daniel Craig
- Barbara Broccoli