Sam Mendes is taking a page from J.J. Abrams’s book.
No, the Oscar-winning director isn’t learning to embrace the lens flare. Instead, he’s aping the way Abrams officially signed on to direct a high-profile franchise extension earlier this year — despite denying his involvement in the project just months before.
The team behind James Bond’s 24th big-screen outing revealed today that Mendes will in fact direct their next film, the follow-up to his extraordinarily successful Skyfall.
The announcement comes four months after Mendes released a statement saying that he would not return for another Bond film, due to “theatre and other commitments” — specifically, the director cited stage productions of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and King Lear.
Thankfully for Skyfall fans, those time conflicts seem to have been worked out: “I am very pleased that by giving me the time I need to honour all my theatre commitments, the producers have made it possible for me to direct Bond 24,” Mendes said in today’s statement. “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.”
The next Bond movie is set to be released Oct. 23, 2015 in the U.K. and Nov. 6, 2015 in the U.S. It will once again star Daniel Craig as Britain’s top secret agent; Skyfall writer John Logan is returning to pen its script as well.