Sam Mendes expected to direct next two James Bond movies

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Sam Mendes likely will be staying with the James Bond franchise after all. Despite initially saying he wouldn't helm "Bond 24," a new report claims Mendes is all but confirmed to direct "Skyfall's" follow up and will likely handle "Bond 25" as well.

Showbiz 411 reports that Mendes' commitment to "Bond 24" is "as confirmed as it can be." The site adds "he's in" for the future 007 movie -- and "most likely" movies -- "after exhaustive negotiations."

Mendes told Empire back in March that he had turned down the opportunity to direct more Bond movies after "Skyfall's" success. "It has been a very difficult decision not to accept Michael [Wilson] and Barbara [Broccoli]'s very generous offer to direct the next Bond movie," he said. "Directing 'Skyfall' was one of the best experiences of my professional life, but I have theatre 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."

Part of Mendes' deal with Sony does involve him keeping his theatre contracts. Producer Broccoli told Getty Images Entertainment at the Empire Awards that she and producing partner Wilson "haven't given up hope" to get Mendes back.

"We'll get him back sometime," she said in March. "Maybe not for the next one ... but hopefully we will get him back again." Wilson added, "We hope that with all this success maybe he would have gotten inspired to come back."

It seems like their good faith paid off. Mendes told Getty at the same event, "I've definitely left the door open for the possibility of Bond movies in the future, it's just the next one, they need it, they need someone working on it now, for the next year, and then going into preproduction. When you've just come off the back of a huge roller coaster of three years, as we have, it just felt a little bit too much."

"Bond 24" will reportedly hit theaters within the next three years. A screenplay is currently being developed.

Photo/Video credit: Getty Images
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