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Even though he directed the most financially successful James Bond film in the franchise’s 50-year history, Oscar-winner Sam Mendes said that he will not direct a follow-up to Skyfall.
In an interview with the U.K.’s Empire magazine, the American Beauty director said that he had to turn down the offer to return from executive producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli.
“It has been a very difficult decision not to accept Michael and Barbara’s very generous offer to direct the next Bond movie,” Mendes said. “Directing Skyfall was one of the best experiences of my professional life, but 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.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Mendes did leave the door open for future Bond films, though.
“I feel very honored 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,” he said.
Wilson and Broccoli sent a reply to Empire, noting, “We would have loved to have made the next film with him but completely respect his decision to focus on other projects and hope to have the opportunity to collaborate with him again.”
Skyfall is the first Bond film to reach $1 billion worldwide, making it the most successful film in the franchise. It also won two Oscars last month for Adele’s hit title song and sound editing.