Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty
"I think that the actor playing Bond is going to evolve, the director has to evolve. I think it would be wonderful to see a woman directing Bond," he told Deadline on Tuesday. "I think it would be wonderful."
As for his time as a 007 director, Mendes, 57, said it's most likely over. "I don't think they'd want me anymore," he said. "It was an incredible thing to do at that moment in my life; I couldn't have asked for a better thing. I saw the world in a different way."
The director also compared directing such blockbuster movies to "erecting scaffolding and building an entire world." He explained, "It's exhausting, in a different way."
Following Mendes' two movies in the franchise, 2021's No Time to Die was directed by male Japanese-American director Cary Joji Fukunaga. No Time to Die also marked Daniel Craig final movie as the spy.
Mendes, who won an Academy Award in 2000 for American Beauty, also admitted that whoever follows Craig's five-movie tenure as Bond has some big shoes to fill. "[Craig] reinvigorated the franchise, but the franchise is so huge that it's very difficult for a younger actor to step into that."
"The answer to that is very simple," he said. "There should simply be better parts for women and actors of color."
Craig continued, "Why should a woman play James Bond when there should be a part just as good as James Bond, but for a woman?"
Nicola Dove / MGM / © Danjaq / Courtesy Everett Collection
His thoughts echoed what producer Barbara Broccoli's stated in an interview with The Guardian in October 2018.
Broccoli ruled out any possibility of a female-Bond saying, "Bond is male. He's a male character. He was written as a male and I think he'll probably stay as a male."
"And that's fine," she added. "We don't have to turn male characters into women. Let's just create more female characters and make the story fit those female characters."
"What I would like is that the female roles in the Bond films, even though Bond will continue to be a man, are brought to life in a different way, that they're given a more substantial part and recognition," continued de Armas. "That's what I think is more interesting than flipping things."
De Armas said she believes there should be better roles for women alongside the male James Bond — an iconic character she thinks should stay true to how he was originally written.
"There shouldn't be any need to steal someone else's character, you know, to take over," she added. "This is a novel, and it leads into this James Bond world and this fantasy of that universe where he's at."
Also in June, Broccoli, 62, shut down rumors about casting when she told Deadline that "nobody's in the running."
"We're working out where to go with him, we're talking that through," she continued at the time. "There isn't a script and we can't come up with one until we decide how we're going to approach the next film because, really, it's a reinvention of Bond."
Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.
Broccoli explained that this "reinvention" of the title character won't be a quick process. "We're reinventing who he is and that takes time," she told Deadline. "I'd say that filming is at least two years away."
The producer, like Mendes, added that she would love for the next movie to have a woman director. "I'd love to have a female director," she said. "We'll have to see what happens, we'll start the process sometime this year I guess."