Bond Update: Mendes a Mentor?


THR's scoop that Sam Mendes would direct Bond 23 sent ripples throughout the Bondosphere yesterday, eliciting everything from hearty hazzahs ("Sam Mendes directed Road to Perdition, a really exciting movie about men with guns!") to groans ("Sam Mendes directed Jarhead, a really unexciting movie about etc. etc.") to calls for Mendes to stop making movies altogether and return to his artsy-fartsy roots in theater Siberia. (That last request came from LAT's Patrick Goldstein, who apparently missed his BAM/Old Vic co-productions of The Cherry Orchard and The Winter's Tale last year.) So much discussion! So much debate! But is the story even true?

Variety calls the story to "rumors," and was refused confirmation by MGM, who also denied the story about pre-production coming to a halt that ran the day before. Nikki Finke, meanwhile, downgrades Mendes's involvement to that of "consultant" (really?) -- the result of Daniel Craig, who worked with him on Road to Perdition, insisting as much after the critical drudging of Quantum of Solace. We have a call into MGM for comment; no response as of yet.

Also up in the air is just what this Bond film is about. Peter Morgan, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade are reportedly still writing it, and rumors swirling around the UK last summer suggested it would be set in the deadliest areas of Afghanistan and involve the heroin trade.