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Fans of Skyfall and all other things good for James Bond, rejoice! Director Sam Mendes has finally agreed to return to direct another installment of the Bond franchise, signing on today officially to direct what's now just being called Bond 24. Here's what producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli had to say about bringing Mendes back into the fold:
"Following the extraordinary success of SKYFALL, we're really excited to be working once again with Daniel Craig, Sam Mendes and John Logan.”
Craig, of course, is the actor currently building his own version of Bond as an icon on par with Sean Connery and Roger Moore, while screenwriter John Logan wrote Skyfall, along with Rango, The Aviator, Gladiator and other great things. Logan started work on both Bond 24 and Bond 25 last fall, while Skyfall was still in theaters, and the speculation was that the two stories would be linked-- presumably the way Casino Royale fed directly in to Quantum of Solace, but this time the second movie will actually be good.
Mendes, who had been focusing on theater adaptations of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and King Lear and spent a lot of time casting serious doubts about his return behind the camera, seemed grateful that he was able to balance all that with another turn behind the camera of the giant action film:
"I am very pleased that by giving me the time I need to honour all my theatre commitments, the producers have made it possible for me to direct Bond 24. 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,” said Mendes.
Confirmation about the size of the Brinks Truck that Sony backed up to Mendes's house has not yet arrived, but rest assured, when your movie makes a billion dollars, you get rewarded very handsomely for returning to the studio fold.
Now that Mendes is locked in, the studio was also able to confirm a release date-- Bond 24, or whatever they wind up calling it, will be released in the UK on October 23, 2015, and in the United States on November 6 that year. 2015, as you may know, is already an insanely busy year, scheduled for The Avengers 2, Jurassic Park 4, the finale of the Hunger Games franchise, and the return of this little thing called Star Wars. If this were 2005, we might worry about James Bond being able to make his mark in a year already so crowded with hotly anticipated blockbusters. But Skyfall was a massive, massive success, making more than $1 billion worldwide. The only competition Mendes new needs to worry about is himself.
To relive just what a great job Mendes did handling Skyfall, check out my interview with him from last film, and watch one of the many stunning trailers for Skyfall. Now we just have to hope that Mendes brings back cinematographer Roger Deakins, who deserves a Brinks truck of his own for the incredible work he did last time. Something as good as Skyfall might be hard to pull off, but the pieces are coming together to at least give it a shot.