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Hollywood seems to be in the habit of pre planning franchises many years in advance. Marvel’s Cinematic Universe maps out their phases up to four years ahead of time, Star Wars will be releasing films every year, and DC is trying to get in on the shared universe format. One major film franchise which seems to be surprisingly juxtaposed to this business model would be the always classic James Bond films. After the mixed reception of Spectre, there are a ton of factors up in the air for the next Bond film. And now it appears that one major player won’t be returning to the franchise anytime soon.

Prolific director Sam Mendes, who directed both Skyfall and Spectre, has announced that he will not be returning for the next chapter in Bond’s adventures. Regarding this decision, Mendes said the following:
It was an incredible adventure, I loved every second of it. But I think it’s time for somebody else. I’m a storyteller. And at the end of the day, I want to make stories with new characters.

This statement, which comes to us from the Associated Press, seems pretty cut and dry. Sam Mendes is ready to focus his passion and vision toward a non-Bond film. Since Mendes isn’t typically an action-adventure director, this seems to make a great deal of sense.

James Bond films are some of the most complicated and expensive films to produce. James’ adventures usually take him to all corners of the globe, with production of each film often moving with him. These films also have to contain a ton of outrageous action and explosions.

Considering that Sam Mendes got his big break with the incredibly grounded and surprisingly low budget American Beauty, he seems unlikely to even be considered to direct the crazy production that is James Bond. Then again, Skyfall succeeded in becoming one of the more emotionally grounded and human of recent Bond films, so his sensibility for intimacy surely helped the film’s quality. Unfortunately, Spectre seemed to be non-stop action, so the character development and story lacked the magic that Skyfall had.

Sam Mendes’ departure from the world of James Bond might mean big things for 007 movies as a whole. To start, a new director is obviously needed who hasn’t been so intimately involved in the franchise for the past. But with Daniel Craig presumably passing the role of James Bond to another actor, the entire franchise might be ready for a total reboot. Daniel Craig’s films seem to be more serialized than Bond films typically are, but now that the two biggest roles in the franchise are open, it wouldn’t be surprising if they started fresh with a new Bond.

Are you sad to see Sam Mendes go? Or is it time for another director to get behind Bond? Sound off in the comments section below.