LONDON, March 6 (UPI) —
British film director Sam Mendes says he has turned down an offer to helm a second James Bond movie after last year’s blockbuster, "Skyfall."
Mendes told Empire Magazine the franchise’s executive producers, Michael and Barbara Broccoli, asked him to direct the next installment in the secret agent series, but he declined.
"It has been a very difficult decision not to accept Michael and Barbara’s very generous offer to direct the next Bond movie," Mendes said. "Directing ‘Skyfall’ was one of the best experiences of my professional life, but I have theater and other commitments, including productions of ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ and ‘King Lear,’ that need my complete focus over the next year and beyond."
"Skyfall" earned rave reviews from the critics and more than $1.1 billion at the worldwide box office.
Daniel Craig is set to return for his fourth outing as 007, but no title, release date or replacement director have been announced yet.
"I feel very honored to have been part of the Bond family," Mendes told Empire, "and very much hope I have a chance to work with them again sometime in the future."