Bond 24: is Sam Mendes worth waiting for?

For a time it almost seemed like we’d never see another James Bond film.  Of course, that all changed last October when the most commercially and critically successful entry in the Bond film series (so far) was released a long, hard four years (call me impatient) after 2008’s Quantum of Solace.

Bond 23 aka Skyfall, as you no doubt know (who doesn’t?) was helmed by American Beauty’s Oscar Winning Director Sam Mendes and whilst I personally wouldn’t declare it as the best Bond film of all (a close tie between From Russia With Love and Goldfinger?  I’ll save that debate for another time) as many have I would certainly rank it as one of the best.  Mendes definitely brought a touch of class and sophistication that eased the pain of the franchise’s cinematic low points (Die Another Day – I’m looking squarely at you).

So, Skyfall is released and the box office tills ring to the tune of $1 Billion and the film enjoys much adulation from critics and fans alike.  It seemed only natural that Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson would do all that they could to repeat that level of success, the same would be true of any film franchise and can only (at least potentially) be a good thing – right?

Unfortunately, a director of Mendes’ stature with a body of quality and varied work may want to pursue other things (despite the lure of an enticingly hefty fee).  Earlier in the year negotiations came to a close with Mendes’ busy schedule forcing him to withdraw graciously without any notion of directing the next Bond, despite a genuine desire to do so.

The search for a new director commenced with a vow from Broccoli and Wilson to bring Mendes back for a future Bond outing.  Christopher Nolan was among the names churned out by the rumour mill (unlikely as he is currently working on his first post-Batman film project, Interstellar – due for release in November 2014), but – wait – current word on the grapevine is that Mendes could very well be returning for Bond 24…in 2016.  So, it’ll result in another four year wait – if we end up with another high quality Bond film then so be it but the big question really would now seem to be can Daniel Craig pull it off?  He’s the best 007 since Sean Connery but by 2016 Craig will be approaching 50, by no means ancient in today’s society but it’s hard not to think back to Roger Moore’s later adventures.

So in the quest for an answer to the question that headlines this post (thanks for sticking with me) I would say yes…and no.  I most definitely would like to see where else Bond could be taken under the guidance of Sam Mendes but why not bring him back for Bond 25 (and round out Daniel Craig’s tenure on a high)?  There could be an equally exciting director out there, eager and ready to go who could provide their own flavour to the series, safe in the knowledge that Skyfall screenwriter John Logan has been tapped to write Bond 24 and 25?

Either way I look forward to Bond 24 but wish it was sooner rather than later…


2 thoughts on “Bond 24: is Sam Mendes worth waiting for?

  1. Skyfall was one of if not the best Bonds to date! It bought Bond back to the real and enjoyable world after the disgrace that was Quantum of Solice!
    But have to agree, if Mendes wants another shot in the directors chair…don’t hold everything until he’s free, just fit Bond 24 in there and then see what happens/who’s available for Bond 25. (Aka Hopefully Mendes)!

    • With John Logan on screenwriting duties for B24&25 we should be in safe hands in terms of the story (he was a co-writer on Skyfall after all). If the producers do decide to wait for Mendes maybe they could tap him for two films back-to-back?

      All this said I’d still like to see Martin Campbell return…

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