Sam Mendes will not be returning to direct the next James Bond film, and Daniel Craig has essentially made it clear he has little incentive to continue further after “Spectre”.
Indeed the new Bond film in many ways feels like a wrap-up of everything that came before, ending in such a way that should the character return it will likely be in a quite different way. Speaking with Deadline about his departure, Mendes compares the franchise to “Doctor Who” and how its time for Bond to regenerate:
“I grew up on Dr. Who, and its ideas of regeneration. People say, ‘Well, once you’ve acknowledged time passing and Bond getting older and characters dying, how do you continue the franchise?’ And the answer is you regenerate, and you have to be as brave as when they cast Daniel, and when they let M die.
They have to go off in a completely different direction, into regenerating mythology. You cast a new actor and find a new director, and make something totally new. I can, off the top of my head, give you three or four ideas for where it could go next. They’re all daring and big.
To me, the enemy is repetition and laziness, and the great danger is not challenging the preexisting format. These are my two chapters of the Bond myth. Someone else is going to write a chapter or 10 or 50, because Bond is strong enough for that, and because there’s enough to play with.”
Mendes similarly wasn’t in a rush to return to the Bond franchise following “Skyfall” so is aware people are just going to label him as someone “negotiating in the press” for the next one. This time out though, he’s serious it seems:
“There is a sense of completeness that wasn’t there at the end of Skyfall, and that’s what makes this feel different. It feels like there’s a rightness to it, that I have finished a journey.
I’m not talking about Daniel here because Daniel may absolutely turn around six months’ time and feel his energy renewed. Or he might say just the opposite. If he is as sensible as I think he is, he needs to go away and have some time to think and do another job that’s completely different, which he’s already doing with Othello.”
“Spectre” is now out in cinemas. When a twenty-fifth Bond film arrives is anyone’s guess.