Sam Mendes to Direct the Next James Bond Film


Earlier today we reported that the next James Bond film, currently dubbed Bond 23, could be delayed a bit while MGM sorts out their financial situation. Following up on that, however, we’ve got a pretty huge announcement that is no doubt intended to offset all of the disappointment Bond fans may have felt after reading the previous headline. It seems that they have now zeroed in on a director for the next film, and it is Sam Mendes of American Beauty fame.

According to THR’s Heat Vision Blog, Mendes is currently in negotiations for the job, and they are actually hoping to fast-track production, possibly with cameras rolling as early as June and aiming for a 2011 release. Well, that sounds a lot more positive, doesn’t it?

The bigger question here is whether or not Sam Mendes can bring the franchise back to where it needs to be. A lot of people felt like Marc Forster dropped the ball on Quantum of Solace and strayed too far from the Bond formula. Considering that Mendes has never directed an action movie before, I don’t think he’s going get “back to basics” either, but I am pretty intrigued at the thought of the man who did Road to Perdition now directing a Bond flick. Some might worry about getting two “art house” Bond flicks in a row, but personally I’m all for it. In the end, you can’t complain, because after all, he’s British! So what do you have to say about this surprising news? Does Sam Mendes give us reason to be excited about Bond 23?

  • projectgenesis

    Sheesh what is wrong with Martin Campbell? He directed two of the better Bond films of the last 20 years with GoldenEye and Casino Roayle. Does he only want to be there when they get a new actor playing Bond? Forster and Mendes are fine directors, just not suited for Bond.

  • Sure could take Bond back in the necessary slick and spy direction rather than the Bourne superhero he’s made to be in Solace. But I guess that’s more up to the writers.

    Although to see a name like this for the next film does only excite me for the possibilities of what could really happen!

  • Henrik

    How would Mendes get this to fit in with his new fascination with boring women, which has last two films have been about?

  • MJS

    Bad idea,Bond directors are supposed to be solid but annonymous.

  • pcch7

    I think this is good news, I like that they try different directors.. Kinda like Harry Potter, it keeps it interesting at least.. But I would LOVE it if Danny Boyle got to direct a Bond film.

  • Nick Robertson

    Danny Boyle would be awesome. Speilberg always wanted to direct Bond and Star Wars films but both men in charge said NO. Assholes. Those were times when he was early in his career and they would have been awesome.

    Anyway, Mendes is a great director and I’d be way happier with this than Forster’s bad film but I also want Martin Campbell back. He’s the best Bond director.

  • All I can say is that Sam Mendes has an award worthy half-beard.

  • Goon

    MJS has a very good point, but I think this will be interesting. I also agree Boyle would make something noteworthy with that character.

  • Trisomy21

    Oh yeah Spielberg. He hasn’t totally lost his talent, please give me more of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull!
    Sorry Pal, time to put your director’s chair away, forever.

  • xego

    Interesting to say the least. I wouldn’t mind seeing Kathryn Bigelow get a crack at it so long as she leaves her shaky-cam at home.

  • Bionic Commando

    The action in the Bond movies is directed by the action director, aka stunt coordinator, usually Vic Armstrong, so it doesn’t really matter too much that the film’s director isn’t known for action, he’s only overseeing what the action director turns in.

  • Rick

    “I think this is good news, I like that they try different directors.. Kinda like Harry Potter”

    I dissagree strongly with this becuase after the first two and they switched dirrectors the films just went down hill. The movies don’t have the…”magic” that the first two had

    And I’d be happy with any director that kept bond, bond. Not this Bourne shit. Show the action instead of flashing passing sequences meant to make it look cooler then it actually is, even though you have no idea what’s going on. It’s like shakey cam, only flashing cam.

    so let’s take the bourne out of bond. Let’s go back to the basics. Lets have the action, the sex, and the spy feel, titles that make sense, and everything else that made bond bond. He’s got a license to kill, not bitch and complain.

    So in my book, who ever does that, is the best director

  • Frank

    I thought Mendes was working on a film version of Stephen Sondheim’s “Follies”?

  • I think he had a bunch of other stuff in development, but how can you say no to Bond?

    (Then again, Danny Boyle did.)

  • Goon

    The directors mostly havent had a personality stamp regarding Bond, but I think there was definitely a difference in skill. Most of the Bond directors have done at least 2, when they stuck around too long like John Glen (5 movies) you can see how complacent they were by the end.

    Even my favorite Bond director (Guy Hamilton) has one bond movie I’m not so fond of (Diamonds are Forever). His work on the Bond movies actually made him the original choice to direct Superman, but he couldn’t do it for some weird tax restriction thing.

  • Rolf

    Mendes helming Bond 23: That’s bad news. I cannot think of a movie NOT character-driven by Mendes… and digging deeper into the Bond character was quite a bore for me. If you do Bond as a human being do it the Peter Hunt-way who did an awesome job with OHMSS. Those couple of private moments and that killer-ending (take it literally :-) were just enough to get emotionally involved… but I’m getting too nostalgic. Well, if Mendes can get a good second unit director who takes care of the action stuff it may be at least better than the last two Bonds. Although I still expect a very dramatic Bond coming from Mendes…

  • Either way, I’m sure I’ll see it.

  • MalD

    I don’t think Mendes is the right director for Bond.. although I did Like the Road to perdition but it was a slow paced drama with slight action detours not really suitable for Bond. I did like Casino Royale and thought Martin Cambell did a good job with it. However Marc Forster was totally the wrong choice for Bond. And they should sack the second unit director they had on that film aswell. The action sequences were terrible unwatchable peices of crap. A stronger visual director at the helm will make a huge difference to the final film.

  • Its gonna be tough one for the bond films as Mendes is normally a slow movie director and he is really a director of life related film. But you see james bond isn’t life, its something like fantasy. Of course there is a huge possibility that he can mixed the drama and action perfectly. Then upcoming bond is gonna be an epic one. Sit tight all.

  • I think Sam Mendes is gonna pull it of this time too. FYI, i didn’t really like last bond sequel ‘quantam of solace’. So i think may be this is gonna be another epic bond from Sam.

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