Amid all of the speculation about the future of James Bond, Sam Mendes has confirmed he won't return to direct a third installment of the franchise.
“It was an incredible adventure, I loved every second of it,” the filmmaker said at the Hay Festival in Wales. “But I think it’s time for somebody else.”
The veteran stage director made his feature debut in 1999 with the Academy Award-winning "American Beauty" before going on to helm such films as "Road to Perdition," "Jarhead" and "Revolutionary Road." Mendes earned critical acclaim for his first Bond outing with 2012's "Skyfall," but his 2015 followup "Spectre" received mixed reviews.
Now he's ready to move on to new territory. “I’m a storyteller,” he said. “And at the end of the day, I want to make stories with new characters.”
While it's still unknown whether Daniel Craig will return for his fifth Bond film, late last week it was reported that Tom Hiddleston is in "advanced talks" to succeed him. However, Mendes insists all the lobbying by fans for certain actors is ultimately pointless.
“It’s not a democracy,” he said. “Barbara Broccoli decides who is going to be the next Bond, end of story.”
“I can guarantee whatever happens with it, it will not be what you expect," he added. "That’s what she has been brilliant at, and that’s how it’ll survive.”