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Sam Mendes Won't Direct Next James Bond Movie

'Skyfall' filmmaker wants to focus on theater projects

Sam Mendes
JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images
March 6, 2013 1:00 PM ET

Although Sam Mendes' Skyfall was hailed as one of the best in the James Bond series, the director has turned down an offer to helm the next movie in the long-running spy series. Skyfall broke records with the biggest opening for a Bond movie, but Mendes wants to shift his focus on upcoming theater projects.

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"It has been a very difficult decision not to accept Michael and Barbara's very generous offer to direct the next Bond movie," Mendes told Empire in an upcoming interview reported by Reuters, referring to producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli. "Directing Skyfall was one of the best experiences of my professional life, but I have theater 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."

Mendes hasn't totally ruled out a return to the Bond series. "I feel very honored to have been part of the Bond family, and very much hope I have a chance to work with them again sometime in the future," he said.

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