Craig, Mendes all set for next James Bond
007 with a touch of prestige by distinguished lead and director

FOLLOW UP. Mendes and Craig bring gravitas once more to the Bond franchise. Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures

MANILA, Philippines – Daniel Craig will once again return as James Bond, together with renowned theater and film director Sam Mendes, who will mark his second Bond project in the 24th film on the iconic British spy scheduled for release in 2015.

Producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli of EON Productions and their associates made this announcement on July 11. “Following the extraordinary success of ‘Skyfall,’ we’re really excited to be working once again with Daniel Craig, Sam Mendes and John Logan” – the playwright, producer and “Skyfall” screenwriter whose other writing credits include Ridley Scott’s “Gladiator” and Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo” and “The Aviator.”

In their statement, Michael Lynton, CEO of Sony Entertainment, and Amy Pascal, co-chairwoman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, said, “It’s a privilege to work on the Bond films. EON, John Logan and Sam Mendes have come up with an extraordinary follow up to “Skyfall” and we, along with our partners at MGM, can’t wait to share this new chapter with audiences all over the world.”

For his part, CEO and chairman Gary Barber of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer noted the “phenomenal success of our last collaboration with EON Productions and Sony” and the “incredible legacy of this 51-year-old franchise.”

Mendes said he was “very pleased that by giving me the time I need to honor all my theater commitments, the producers have made it possible for me to direct ‘Bond 24,'” as this next project is informally called.

Mendes was already a critically acclaimed stage director before he won an Oscar for his film directorial debut, “American Beauty” (1999). His other films include the 2002 crime drama, “Road to Perdition,” his first collaboration with Craig who turned in a striking performance for a menacing character role, and the 2008 adaptation of Richard Yates’ “Revolutionary Road,” reteaming “Titanic” stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, Mendes’ wife at the time.

Craig’s impressive track record as a character actor drew the Bond franchise to tapping him as an alternative, grittier Bond, beginning with “Casino Royale” in 2006.  “Bond 24” will be Craig’s fourth film as 007. –

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