I think most people would agree that Skyfall was an amazing film. It will go down in history as one of THE top-tier Bond movies and some would argue that it deserves the honor of being #1 (including myself). What made Skyfall such an exceptional time at the theater? Well, for starters, it had a lean and tightly polished script that allowed equal time for action and character development. It also had a formidable villain in the form of Silva (Javier Bardem) who had completely realistic motivations and was actually fearful. Behind all of that, however, was a man steering this ship towards greatness. That man would be Sam Mendes. The producers were wise in hiring the director of American Beauty to take a crack at Bond and he certainly did not disappoint.

Sam Mendes’ fingerprints were all over this project, from the look of the film all the way down to the quiet moments that break up the frenetic action. He layered scenes on top of scenes (the lead-up to Silva’s courtroom break-in was superb) and helped bring it all back to the essence of Bond, M and their fragile, shared history.

Naturally, the producers sought to keep Mendes on for the next Bond outing but unfortunately, he had to decline due to other obligations. This leaves the door open for another talented director to come in and provide their own take on this monumental franchise. Here are 10 visionary directors that could do some amazing things with the Bond legacy.

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This article was first posted on May 28, 2013