Sam Mendes: No More Bond After SPECTRE

‘Skyfall’ director Sam Mendes took some persuasion to come back to helm upcoming follow-up film ‘SPECTRE’ - and it would appear he’s unlikely to take the job a third time.

The Oscar-winning filmmaker and theatre director tells the BBC, “I said no to the last one and then ended up doing it, and was pilloried by all my friends. But I do think this is probably it.

“I don’t think I could go down that road again. You do have to put everything else on hold.“

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The director likened ‘Skyfall’ and ‘SPECTRE’ to two halves of a whole: "It feels almost, even though we’ve just finished shooting it, like one big experience and it was a fantastic life-changing thing.”

However, he said that the role of 007 director feels “more a lifestyle choice than a job,” adding that the work is “pretty much all encompassing." 

He went on to note that ‘SPECTRE’ is “a bigger movie than Skyfall. It’s shot in more places - we were in Mexico City and Tangiers and northern Sahara and Rome and the Alps and London. It’s been an enormous undertaking.”

Despite the massive acclaim and commercial success of ‘Skyfall’ (the highest-grossing and arguably best reviewed film in the history of Bond), Mendes initially declined the offer from Eon Productions to return for the 24th Bond film, largely due to his commitments on a stage adaptation of ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.’

After Eon failed to find a suitable replacement, a rearranged schedule allowed Mendes to return to Bond - and, with that role now almost over, it seems the director is eager to return to the stage once more.

“I’m happiest rehearsing a play or editing a movie, and when I’ve finished editing a movie I generally want to be back in a theatre environment again.

“It feels like home, it feels controllable after the chaos of a movie set. But it won’t be long before I want to do another film, and I’m very fortunate to be able to go back and forth between the two.”

Mendes was already a big name in theatre when he made his cinematic debut with 1999′s ‘American Beauty,’ which became a massive awards season hit earning him the Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director.

He went on to direct ‘The Road to Perdition’ (which co-starred Daniel Craig), ‘Jarhead,’ ‘Revolutionary Road’ and ‘Away We Go’ before taking on Bond with 2012′s ‘Skyfall.’

‘SPECTRE’ makes Mendes the first director to helm a second Bond movie since Martin Campbell (who directed both Pierce Brosnan’s debut ‘Goldeneye’ and Daniel Craig’s debut ‘Casino Royale’) - and the first to make two Bond movies in a row since John Glen, who directed all five films made in the series in the 1980s (from ‘For Your Eyes Only’ to ‘Licence to Kill’).

‘SPECTRE’ opens in UK cinemas on 26 October.

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Picture Credit: Sony