Director Sam Mendes Exits James Bond Franchise

We’ve reported how both and are potential picks to play the next James Bond, and while whether or not he’ll return to the role, we know one thing for certain — director Sam Mendes is done with the franchise.

During a in Hay-On-Wye, Wales, the director of Skyfall and Spectre confirmed that he was leaving the world of James Bond to pursue new projects.

When reflecting on his two Bond films, Mendes had this to say:

“It was an incredible adventure, I loved every second of it. But I think it’s time for somebody else.”

The Bond director, who got his start in the world of theater before winning the Best Director Oscar in 1999 for his directorial debut American Beauty, further added:

“I’m a storyteller. And, at the end of the day, I want to make stories with new characters.”

Casting The Next James Bond

The acclaimed filmmaker also shed some light on the Bond casting situation, revealing that fans probably shouldn’t bother campaigning for any particular actor to inherit the role. As Mendes noted:

“It’s not a democracy — [Producer] Barbara Broccoli decides who is going to be the next Bond, end of story.”

Broccoli has headed Eon Productions, the company responsible for the Bond film series, since 1995. She’s been a producer on every Bond film since the Pierce Brosnan era, but most notably handpicked Daniel Craig to inherit the role. At the time, Craig was considered an unconventional candidate, but has on 007 that will surely influence actors to come. And it seems that, when the time comes, Broccoli will make another solid pick:

“I can guarantee whatever happens with it, it will not be what you expect. That’s what [Broccoli] has been brilliant at, and that’s how it’ll survive.”

Broccoli's Bond pick was seen as unconventional.

Broccoli’s Bond pick was seen as unconventional.

Mendes’s Skyfall was a massive hit at the box office, and has been considered a standout installment in the Bond franchise by fans and critics alike. It provided valuable insight into the enigmatic character’s backstory while packing in some of the franchise’s most impressive action. Spectre was similarly successful, though it didn’t fare quite as well critically.

Mendes may be leaving the franchise, but fans shouldn’t fret. Bond directors typically have shorter tenures than the actors inhabiting the title role, something that hasn’t tarnished the franchise’s overall quality. In the end, this only means we’ll get more original films from Mendes; a good thing for fans of the filmmaker.

Who do you think should direct the next James Bond movie? And who do you want to see cast as the iconic spy? Let us know in the comments.