the industry

Sam Mendes Spills the (English Breakfast) Tea on the Future of James Bond, Says ‘It Will Not Be What You Expect’

The Hay Festival 2016
Photo: Matthew Horwood/2016 Matthew Horwood

The tumultuous casting of a new James Bond aside, Ian Fleming’s universe just lost one prime asset: director Sam Mendes. Appearing at the Hay Festival of literature in Wales on Saturday, the British director who directed the acclaimed Skyfall and Spectre said he is officially done with the spy franchise. “It was an incredible adventure, I loved every second of it,” he told the audience. “But I think it’s time for somebody else.” Mendes said he hopes the next director will take Bond in a “slightly unexpected direction,” also noting sorry, Tom and Idris enthusiasts that the casting process for the next Bond is “not a democracy,” and might even deviate into something unexpected.

“[Producer] Barbara Broccoli chooses who’s going to be the next Bond: end of story,” Mendes continued. “I can guarantee whatever happens with it, it will not be what you expect. That’s what she’s been brilliant at, and that’s how it’ll survive … it’s not a public vote, and I think we’re in an age where everything is deemed voteable on. Some things just aren’t and it’s better that way.” Maybe Jane Bond, then?

Mendes on Bond: ‘It Will Not Be What You Expect’