Skyfall is on track to being the most successfully (and quite possibly best reviewed) James Bond movie ever made. The only question that remains is whether the next film in the franchise, which we now call Bond 24, but which will eventually get a real title of its own, can possibly live up to its predecessor. It's a tough act to follow, boasting a screenplay by Academy Award-nominated writer John Logan and direction by American Beauty's Sam Mendes. Or maybe it won't be so hard. We already know Logan is coming back for Bond 24, and now it looks like Mendes is too.
In a recent press release (via Coming Soon), screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade explain their exit from the James Bond franchise after five consecutive films, ranging from The World is Not Enough through Skyfall. Robert Wade specifically spoke about the next film in the series, which they will not be contributing to, stating, "I know that John Logan and Sam Mendes have come up with a plot for another one, which takes the pressure off because these films take up a lot of time."
Mendes helped come up with the plot of Bond 24? That's good news for fans of Skyfall, but is he going beyond that? It's easy to get excited for the next film with this kind of news, but there's no evidence to suggest that Mendes will stick with the development process or come back to direct the next film. To cite precedent, the last time a director came back to direct a second consecutive James Bond film was in 1989, when director John Glen followed up the first Timothy Dalton Bond adventure, The Living Daylights, with Licence to Kill. Then again, with Licence to Kill, Glen was directing his fifth Bond movie in a row. Could Mendes possibly follow suit? We doubt it. Unlike Mendes, Glen did not enjoy a prominent directorial career outside of the Bond franchise, whereas Mendes is one of the most acknowledged talents in Hollywood after critically acclaimed motion pictures like American Beauty, Revolutionary Road and Away We Go.
CraveOnline will be back with more Bond 24 news after we make a personal statement.
Follow William Bibbiani on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.