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Sam Mendes is coming back to direct the 24th James Bond film.
Daniel Craig will return as the iconic British secret agent, along with producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli of Eon Productions. Gary Barber, chairman and CEO of MGM; Michael Lynton, CEO of Sony Corporation of America, and Amy Pascal, co-chair of Sony Pictures Entertainment made the announcement on Thursday.
The film, from a screenplay by John Logan, is set for release in the U.S. on Nov. 6, 2015 and in the U.K. on Oct. 23, 2015.
“I am 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. I very much look forward to taking up the reins again, and to working with Daniel Craig, Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli for a second time,” said Mendes in a statement.
The news of Mendes’ return comes just four months after the Oscar-winning director said he would not be back for the next Bond film.
At the time he told Empire magazine: “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.”
Mendes had been working on the West End theatrical production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which opened at the London Palladium on June 23. He’s also directing Shakespeare’s King Lear, which will open at the National Theatre in January 2014.
Mendes’ Skyfall, which opened in theaters in November 2012, went on to become the highest-grossing film in the franchise and the highest grossing film in the U.K. of all time. It’s grossed $1.1 billion worldwide to date. The film, also written by Logan and starring Craig, won two Oscars — one for Adele‘s best original song and another for sound editing.
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