‘Skyfall’ director likely to return for ‘James Bond 24′

Mark Deming
Movie Talk

If you liked "Skyfall" - and since it's become the top-grossing installment in the James Bond franchise so far and earned rave reviews, chances are you did - the good news is the next 007 movie will likely have the same director behind the camera.

Baz Bamigboye in the UK Daily Mail Online reports that sources connected to the project says Sam Mendes, the director of "Skyfall," is "75 percent" certain to sign on for the movie with the working title "James Bond 24."

Mendes, the British-born director whose other credits include "American Beauty," "The Road to Perdition," and "Revolutionary Road," had reportedly been courted by Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, the producers of the Bond series, for some time before he agreed to direct "Skyfall." Given the film's success, Broccoli and Wilson were eager to have Mendes back. But Mendes is said to have balked at a plan that would have shot the next two Bond pictures in tandem, tying him to a production schedule that could stretch out to four years.

Now word has it that plan has been scrapped, and instead screenwriter John Logan is penning two individual movies that will stand on their own. With these changes in place, talks with Mendes are said to be much improved, and the odds are good he'll be back to see to it those martinis are shaken, not stirred.

It is also assumed Daniel Craig will be back as 007, and as positioned in "Skyfall," Ralph Finnes will be the new M, Ben Whishaw will return as Q, and Naomie Harris will be the significantly sexier new Miss Moneypenny. As for Mendes, before he begins work on "James Bond 24," he'll be keeping busy with stage work, directing a production of Shakespeare's "King Lear" at the British National Theater and a new musical adaptation of "Charlie And The Chocolate Factory."

See Daniel Craig in a clip from 'Skyfall':