With "Skyfall" having wrapped up its billion dollar run and now available on home video, it's time to start thinking about the next entry in the series. We have seen some movement in the past few months, with John Logan hired back to pen the script, for what was initially rumored to be back-to-back films (more on that in a second), with director Sam Mendes said to be helping develop the story. But it looks like his involvement won't just end there.
Baz Bamigboye reports that Mendes has "75 per cent" decided to do it, and moreover, those back-to-back followup plans have truly been scrapped — if they were ever true to start with. Back in the fall, Daniel Craig said such a plan was simply "impossible" noting, "We can only do them one at a time, they take six months to shoot. You can’t write one movie thinking about the next. All we’re trying to do is get the next one sorted out and it’ll stand on its own and if I’m able I’ll do another one after that." And indeed, that certainly seems to be plan.
At any rate, one movie instead of two seems to be the factor in encouraging Mendes to return, who was reportedly concerned that the burden of a pair of flicks would essentially eat up the next four years of his life. However, it does look like a 2014 holiday release that was eyed for the next installment is going to be tight to hit. Right now, Logan only has treatments finished and the movie can't feasibly start pre-production until late 2013 or early 2014 at the soonest. Moreover, Mendes has a stage production of "King Lear" slated for next January, and we'd presume he'd want to wrap that up before diving back into Bond. Now, it's not impossible for a Bond flick to be shot and completed in less than a year (that was the case for "Skyfall" which started filming in November 2011 and was released in October 2012), but it's still a fairly tight frame.
All this said, bringing back Mendes and the rest of the creative team who helped make "Skyfall" the first billion dollar Bond, rather than replacing him with a journeyman helmer, is simply smart business. And while we would prefer Mendes perhaps use this momentum to tackle a non-franchise movie, it's clear there's still more he wants to do with Bond, and either way, fans of "Skyfall" will certainly be thrilled if he signs on the dotted line. But we won't know for sure that he's back for a while yet as he wants to read a final script before committing. Until then, tune in next Sunday night at the Oscars where a Bond tribute will keep your thirst for 007 quenched.