Sam Mendes officially onboard to direct the 24th James Bond film; release dates announced!

Well, there's been a lot of back and forth with director Sam Mendes on tackling directing duties for the next installment of the James Bond franchise, from vehement denial to veiled affirmation, but the elusive director has finally struck a deal with Bond producers to get back behind the camera with returning star Daniel Craig for another outing. It's no surprise that producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli would move heaven and earth to secure Mendes again, especially after the latest entry under Mendes lens, SKYFALL, was the most successful Bond film ever. It reminds me of Marvel hiring Joss Whedon back for THE AVENGERS 2; you don't want to risk losing that kind of creative spearhead to your franchise. It's only sensible in Hollywoodland.

In addition, the announcement has annotated the release date for the untitled 24th Bond film, which is again being written by John Logan. UK audiences will get first dibs with an October 23, 2015 release, and the U.S. debut hits on  November 6, 2015.

Here's the official press release:

CULVER CITY, Calif., July 11, 2013 – Producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, EON Productions; Gary Barber, Chairman & CEO, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer; Michael Lynton, CEO, Sony Entertainment, Inc, and Amy Pascal, Co-Chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment today announced that Daniel Craig will once again return as the legendary British secret agent in the 24th James Bond film and Sam Mendes will also return to direct the screenplay written by John Logan.  The film is set for release in UK theaters on October 23, 2015 and in US theaters on November 6, 2015.

SKYFALL, the 23rd James Bond film, took in $1.1 billion worldwide and set a new mark as the highest-grossing film of all time in the UK; it was the best-selling Bond film on DVD/Blu-ray and was the most critically acclaimed film in the history of the longest-running film franchise.

Commenting on the announcement, Wilson and Broccoli said, "Following the extraordinary success of SKYFALL, we're really excited to be working once again with Daniel Craig, Sam Mendes and John Logan.”

"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,” said Mendes.

Barber added, “We are thrilled to reunite the extraordinary talents of director Sam Mendes with our star Daniel Craig for the next great Bond adventure.” He added, “As evidenced by the phenomenal success of our last collaboration with EON Productions and Sony, the incredible legacy of this 51-year-old franchise continues to amaze.”

Lynton and Pascal said, “It’s a privilege to work on the Bond films. EON, John Logan and Sam Mendes have come up with an extraordinary follow up to SKYFALL and we, along with our partners at MGM, can’t wait to share this new chapter with audiences all over the world.”

What do you think? Are you happy to have Mendes officially back on board?

Extra Tidbit: I'd love to see a Guy Ritchie directed Bond, personally.
Source: Sony Pictures



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