Confusion Reigns Over “Bond 24” Director

It has been an eventful day or so in the world of James Bond speculation.

It began when a Variety report emerged indicating that the likes of Nicolas Winding Refn (“Drive”), Ang Lee (“Life of Pi”), Shane Black (“Iron Man 3”), Tom Hooper (“Les Miserables”), and David Yates (the last four “Harry Potter” films) had all emerged as candidates to direct the next 007 film.

Soon after came word through Deadline that “Skyfall” helmer Sam Mendes, who previously turned down an offer to return as director in March, has re-entered negotiations.

Mendes turned down the earlier offer from Eon Productions due to his commitment to helm the “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” stage musical on West End and later Broadway. This would have interfered with producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson’s plans to begin filming at the end of this year for a late 2014 release.

Now it seems the producers are reportedly willing to wait for him to complete his commitments to the stage play, with production on the film then likely to take place sometime next year.

Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris and Ben Whishaw are all expected to return as cast members for the next outing, while John Logan is returning and is hard at work on the script.