chris nolan

Well, that’s it. After months of speculation and some near-on “confirmations” that Sam Mendes would return for James Bond 24, the American Beauty director has officially turned down an offer from producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli to helm the next entry in the popular spy franchise.

For fans, this might come as a bit of a shocker, given that Sam Mendes did such a great job with Skyfall, and would likely feel comfortable having the same, competent director back in control for what is considered to be the “second” installment in a new age of Bond movies. Others will be pleased that Mendes has refused to return, because, hey, the idea of a new director having their shot at a Bond movie is always cause for relative excitement.

Despite all the Mendes love, though, the director was originally considered to be a rather barmy choice to take on a Bond flick. Better renowed for edgy dramas, there was no proof that the man could juggle huge set-pieces and action fare. Luckily, Mendes proved everybody wrong: Skyfall is rightfully considered to be one of the best James Bond movies ever (some critics even went to town in calling it the “best Bond film ever made”). Go Sam!

But with Mendes off to pursue other projects (in the theatre, would you believe?), there’s an obvious gap that needs filling, and though Barbara Broccoli is likely to spend a bit of time thinking long and hard about the decision, if she wants to get Bond 24 out in theatres by 2014, the clock is ticking.

With that in mind, here’s 5 directors who we think would make great choices for Bond 24…

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This article was first posted on March 6, 2013