Did Sam Mendes Really Just Say He's Done With James Bond?
Speaking at the Hay Festival Mendes indeed confirmed - he's done with Bond. But don't worry, he basically said it will all be OK. The Telegraph reports him saying:
“It’s not a negative. I’m a storyteller and at the end of the day I want to make stories with new characters. I also believe there are directors out there who can do the job every bit as well as me. And like me with Skyfall, it should come from a slightly unexpected direction. It was an incredible adventure, I loved every second of it. It was a privilege, all the experiences were gobsmacking for me, but I think it’s time for somebody else to do a great job. And I will be first in line.”
He also touched on all the rumors running rampant on the internet about a new Bond actor. Vague reports said Daniel Craig turned down a hefty sum for two more films (though he's currently still under contract), Tom Hiddleston and Jamie Bell's names have been attached most recently, and of course there are fan-sparked campaigns for Idris Elba (who denied there was a chance last year) and Gillian Anderson.
But Mendes wanted to make one thing clear - Bond casting is "not a democracy...Some things just aren’t and it’s better that way."
"There’s this constant debate about who’s going to be the next Bond, the truth is - and here’s the headline: it’s not a democracy. It’s not the X Factor, it’s not the EU referendum, it’s not a public vote. [Producer] Barbara Broccoli chooses who’s going to be the next Bond: end of story. Without that, there would be no Daniel Craig because public support for Daniel was zero. It was her saying ‘that man over there is going to change the whole thing, I’m going to cast him’."
Never fear, Bond fans. Mendes knows in his heart the next actor in the role will be fantastic. "I can guarantee whatever happens with it, it will not be what you expect," he said. "That’s what she’s been brilliant at, and that’s how it’ll survive."