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Spectre director Sam Mendes confirms he is done with 007 and explains why

11.09.2015

SPECTRE opened to $73 million this weekend and while the reviews were less stellar than SKYFALL, the reunion of Daniel Craig and Sam Mendes still managed to entertain audiences and deliver a cinematic experience on par with the best the franchise has to offer. Still, the toll making such a massive blockbuster has been very apparent with Craig repeatedly hinting that he is done with the franchise.

Mendes has also said he would not return to helm a third Bond film and in an interview with Deadline, he explained why.

The pronouncements after the last movie were taken seriously and I then had to undo them when I agreed to make this movie. Without giving too much away, the difference here for me is, this movie draws together all four of Daniel’s movies into one final story, and he completes a journey. That wasn’t the case last time. There is a sense of completeness that wasn’t there at the end of Skyfall, and that’s what makes this feel different. It feels like there’s a rightness to it, that I have finished a journey. I’m not talking about Daniel here because Daniel may absolutely turn around six months’ time and feel his energy renewed. Or he might say just the opposite. If he is as sensible as I think he is, he needs to go away and have some time to think and do another job that’s completely different, which he’s already doing with Othello.

Sam Mendes also said that Daniel Craig saying he is done with the role are obviously coming on the heels of an arduous and physically exacting production schedule. Mendes also said that even if Craig said he would only return if he was behind the camera it may not convince him to return.

What is important is, not doing it is not a negative. It’s not me saying, “I don’t want to do this.” What it would be is me saying, “I really want to do this story.” There are other stories to tell. I’ve never felt shy of shifting genres, shifting scales, moving to a movie that’s completely unlike the one I’d done before. Until I did these two, every movie I directed was the absolutely polar opposite of the one before it. That was not random; it is deliberate attempt to not repeat myself, and to challenge myself with different stylistic challenges. That is how it is with the filmmakers I most admire, like Ang Lee and Billy Wilder. Look at Wilder, for God’s sake. Double Indemnity and Some Like it Hot and The Apartment. Ang can do Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The Ice Storm, The Hulk, Life Of Pi and Brokeback Mountain. What a career! He has experimented in 3D, and 2D, and digital. It seems to me that there are some filmmakers who need to feel a new challenge with each film, and some who essentially make the same film or operate the same style with different subject matter. They’re equally valid.

Mendes ranks as only one of a handful of directors who have helmed multiple James Bond movies. If this were the last film for both Craig and Mendes, it would not be surprising as the movie does tie together several plot elements, but there has long been a rumor that Daniel Craig's contract was for five films. Producer Michael G Wilson confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that while Craig does not have a contract for a fifth 007 film, he is confident they will have him returning for one more. Wilson also cited Mendes' change of heart, but from the sounds of it he is not going to change his mind again. Don't expect to hear any confirmation on Craig's return or departure until sometime next year. For now, SPECTRE is now playing everywhere.

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9:53PM on 11/09/2015
I hope Daniel Craig would still be coming back as James Bond.
I hope Daniel Craig would still be coming back as James Bond.
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7:27PM on 11/09/2015

What he really means is

"I had an idea and a vision for Skyfall...so my heart was in it and that was it...I was done. Then they were so desperate for me to come back that they offered me an unheard of amount of money to strong arm me into something I didn't really want to do so I did it anyway, with no heart or real love for wanting to do it and this was the product. At least it was still ok."
"I had an idea and a vision for Skyfall...so my heart was in it and that was it...I was done. Then they were so desperate for me to come back that they offered me an unheard of amount of money to strong arm me into something I didn't really want to do so I did it anyway, with no heart or real love for wanting to do it and this was the product. At least it was still ok."
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7:25PM on 11/09/2015

Interesting

I find it interesting that Mendes refers to Spectre as the end of Craig's journey. I wouldn't say that at all. If that's the case, then he didn't do a good job in that aspect. I loved Spectre, but for me it was part 1 of 2 to complete Craig's Bond. You can't introduce such a powerhouse of an iconic Bond villain and be done with it. Why would you have 4 movie story arc that you don't finish?

Spectre was an introduction that needs a conclusion. Sure, this can be done without Craig, but
I find it interesting that Mendes refers to Spectre as the end of Craig's journey. I wouldn't say that at all. If that's the case, then he didn't do a good job in that aspect. I loved Spectre, but for me it was part 1 of 2 to complete Craig's Bond. You can't introduce such a powerhouse of an iconic Bond villain and be done with it. Why would you have 4 movie story arc that you don't finish?

Spectre was an introduction that needs a conclusion. Sure, this can be done without Craig, but I'd really prefer he do one more movie to conclude his legacy.
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6:56PM on 11/09/2015
I appreciate what Mendes did with his Bond films, but I would love to see Martin Campbell come back one more time with Craig as his Bond.
I appreciate what Mendes did with his Bond films, but I would love to see Martin Campbell come back one more time with Craig as his Bond.
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6:56PM on 11/09/2015
I appreciate what Mendes did with his Bond films, but I would love to see Martin Campbell come back one more time with Craig as his Bond.
I appreciate what Mendes did with his Bond films, but I would love to see Martin Campbell come back one more time with Craig as his Bond.
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6:44PM on 11/09/2015
I like Mendes' Bond films, but I'm fine with him only doing 2. His films were a little too serious for Bond, IMO. I should be having fun when I'm at a Bond film. Casino Royale found the perfect balance of being serious, emotional, and fun. I'm hoping we get another one with Craig like that.
I like Mendes' Bond films, but I'm fine with him only doing 2. His films were a little too serious for Bond, IMO. I should be having fun when I'm at a Bond film. Casino Royale found the perfect balance of being serious, emotional, and fun. I'm hoping we get another one with Craig like that.
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1:42PM on 11/09/2015
The Bond movies need to re-invent themselves as smarter movies. All the production values in the world do not add up to a good movie without a decent story or plot.
The Bond movies need to re-invent themselves as smarter movies. All the production values in the world do not add up to a good movie without a decent story or plot.
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1:26PM on 11/09/2015
The hints I've been getting regarding Craig leaving the franchise feel more like hints via media outlets than the man himself. Possibly hints from him that he didn't care to comment one way or the other as to whether he was coming back or not, that he'd just done a Bond movie and wasn't about to get started on another one before it even came out. I'm not disappointed that Mendes isn't coming back though. He was good for the franchise, but it needs some fresh energy.
The hints I've been getting regarding Craig leaving the franchise feel more like hints via media outlets than the man himself. Possibly hints from him that he didn't care to comment one way or the other as to whether he was coming back or not, that he'd just done a Bond movie and wasn't about to get started on another one before it even came out. I'm not disappointed that Mendes isn't coming back though. He was good for the franchise, but it needs some fresh energy.
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1:08PM on 11/09/2015
While SPECTRE was by no means a bad film, it seems pretty evident that Sam's heart wasn't all there in the film. He clearly wanted to work on something smaller, but somehow he came back (probably because of the lure of a fat paycheck). Whatever the case, it definitely is time to pass the reigns to another director.
While SPECTRE was by no means a bad film, it seems pretty evident that Sam's heart wasn't all there in the film. He clearly wanted to work on something smaller, but somehow he came back (probably because of the lure of a fat paycheck). Whatever the case, it definitely is time to pass the reigns to another director.
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1:04PM on 11/09/2015

Glad to hear

Mendes, like Wheaton, suffered from blockbuster fatigue which resulted in a final product that couldn't recapture the magic of the film that came before it. Spectre had a lot going for it, but unfortunately it failed overall with attempting to connect all of Craig's Bond films. I hope that if Craig returns for another outing, it's with a more well-thought out story that doesn't look to be a fan service, but an independent journey that takes the character in new directions like Casino Royale or
Mendes, like Wheaton, suffered from blockbuster fatigue which resulted in a final product that couldn't recapture the magic of the film that came before it. Spectre had a lot going for it, but unfortunately it failed overall with attempting to connect all of Craig's Bond films. I hope that if Craig returns for another outing, it's with a more well-thought out story that doesn't look to be a fan service, but an independent journey that takes the character in new directions like Casino Royale or Skyfall.
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3:26PM on 11/09/2015
And they just stated that Silva from Skyfall was a part of or connected to Spectre without any real explanation as to how. Quantum being related to Spectre was something we could see coming since they properly introduced that organization, though.
And they just stated that Silva from Skyfall was a part of or connected to Spectre without any real explanation as to how. Quantum being related to Spectre was something we could see coming since they properly introduced that organization, though.
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