Skyfall Director Returns
Following the immense box office and critical success of "Skyfall," the 23rd installment in the Bond franchise, it was announced that director Sam Mendes will be brought in to helm the next movie. This news comes after Mendes reportedly turned down the opportunity in March due to his other commitments theatre productions of both Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and King Lear. However, producers wanted him so badly they were willing to push back the movie in order to get the guy who made Skyfall such a hit.
In a press statement, Mendes said: "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. 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."
The news of Mendes' return came along with an announcement of the movie's release date, which was confirmed as the 23rd of October 2015 for the UK and 6th of November 2015 for the US, which providing there are no setbacks, will mean there will a gap of almost exactly three years between "Skyfall" and the 24th movie. It may be a long wait, but it shows that everyone involved is willing to put it the necessary work to make sure the next film is up to Bond's standards.
Bond's Back in Style
The news follows a resurgence in Bond's popularity after Daniel Craig's run as 007. When Pierce Brosnan was replaced in 2002 after "Die Another Day," the franchise was suffering from an over-reliance on CGI, gadgets and cheesy scripts. Although the hiring of blonde-haired, blue-eyed Craig raised some eyebrows, he obilterated any doubts of his ability to play Bond with 2006's "Casino Royale."
Craig's Second to Last Film
A much harder-hitting and darker twist of Bond, Daniel Craig revitalised the role from a stuffy English gentleman into unpolished and morally ambiguous spy willing to get his hands dirty, but still pulled off a suit like no other. Suddenly, Bond became cool again, and the release of "Skyfall" helped to prove that. The movie took in $1.1bn dollars at the box office, making it not only the highest grossing Bond movie ever, but also the highest grossing British film. Critics also loved the movie, so it was an obvious choice to bring back Mendes. "Skyfall" screenwriter John Logan will also be returning.
If his current contract holds, Daniel Craig's appearance in Bond 24 will be his second to last, as he signed on for two more movies after Skyfall was such a hit. Gossip is already starting about who could sign on for the seventh 007 - currently the hot ticket is "The Wire" actor Idris Elba.
Execs are still remaining tight lipped on any of the possible storyline or characters for the 24th movie, although rumors have been swirling that Penelope Cruz is being considered for a leading role, possibly as a Bond Girl. Regardless, this news should certainly set Bond fans at ease for now. With the same director-screenwriting-star team as "Skyfall" set to take on another film, things keep looking up for 007.