"It has been a very difficult decision not to accept Michael and Barbara's very generous offer to direct the next Bond movie," said the Oscar-winning director. "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."
Bond's next director has yet to be decided, but producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli had nothing but praise for Mendes: "We thoroughly enjoyed working with Sam. He directed our most successful Bond movie ever, SKYFALL. 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."
SPECTRE (2015) is the new James Bond film and the 24th in the series. It will be the fourth outing for Daniel Craig as 007, and the second film to be directed by Sam Mendes from a screenplay by John Logan, Neal Purvis & Robert Wade. The new MI6 team of Ralph Fiennes (M), Naomie Harris (Moneypenny), Rory Kinnear (Tanner) and Ben Whishaw (Q) are all reprising their roles. The cast will include Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, Andrew Scott and Christoph Waltz. Production commences on December 8th 2014, with location work as early as 5th January 2015 in Austria. The film will also shoot on location in: Erfoud and Tangier, Morocco; Rome, Italy and Mexico City, Mexico. SPECTRE is scheduled for release on 7th November 2015.