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Sam Mendes Won’t Direct the Next Bond

Director Sam Mendes arrives at the 2012 BAFTA Los Angeles Britannia Awards Presented By BBC AMERICA at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on November 7, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California.

After Skyfall received rave reviews and made all the money, people were wondering if its director, Sam Mendes, would come back to direct the next Bond film. Mendes very clearly told Empire he won't be returning: “It has been a very difficult decision not to accept Michael [Wilson] and Barbara [Broccoli]’s very generous offer to direct the next Bond movie." He continued: "I have theatre and other commitments, including productions of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory and King Lear, that need my complete focus over the next year and beyond." Theater? But you can't blow things up in theater. The good news is it seems that Mendes hasn't ruled out returning to the franchise in the future: "I feel very honoured to have been part of the Bond family and very much hope I have a chance to work with them again sometime in the future." Either way, the race for the job has begun. They better not give this one to J.J. Abrams too.

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images