James Bond fans received the news they’d be waiting for on Thursday – Sam Mendes would be returning for the twenty-fourth 007 movie, following the huge success of Skyfall.
Given his theatre commitments, it was assumed that the Oscar-winning director would be unable to helm the follow-up to the biggest grossing British movie in history – though he appears to have found a gap in his schedule to direct the next Bond for an October 23, 2015 release date.
Daniel Craig – often considered the finest Bond actor in history – had delayed his decision to return for his fourth movie, though the return of Mendes will see him don the tuxedo once again.
“I am very pleased that by giving me the time I need to honour all my theatre commitments, the producers have made it possible for me to direct Bond 24,” said Mendes in a statement, “I very much look forward to taking up the reins again, and to working with Daniel Craig, Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli for a second time.”
Though yesterday’s announcement understandably focused on Mendes, it also confirmed the return of screenwriter John Logan, who penned the most recent film after the successes of Gladiator, The Aviator and Rango.
Though Skyfall’s stylish direction was clear, it is heralded as the best ever Bond because it’s the most human Bond, the most believable without compromising on the silly villains, beautiful girls and exotic locations.
Here we saw a damaged Bond, an agent who got drunk, who couldn’t shoot as straight anymore, who…looked a little ragged. This was the work of Logan, who understood the direction James Bond needed to head. “We took the character seriously, we took the world seriously, there were consequences to the action. People liked seeing that behind the Martini and the Aston Martin and the tuxedo, there's a very flawed man,” he told The Independent following Skyfall’s release, “We always talked about this as Bond re-appraising his life. It was a movie about resurrection.”
John Logan Will Pen The Screenplay To 'Bond 24'
Logan – a gay man – took some of the macho out of Bond and embraced the era of the modern man. On his sexuality affecting the Skyfall script, Logan nodded towards the “homoerotic undertone” in the interrogation scene between Daniel Craig and Javier Bardem, “We thought it was time to really embrace it .... It was a juicy scene to write.”
Mendes will direct Shakespeare’s King Lear, set to open at the National Theatre in January 2014.
His ‘Skyfall’ – which opened in November 2012 – grossed $1.1 billion worldwide, winning the Oscars for best original song and best sound editing.
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