Sam Mendes has turned down the chance to make the next Bond film so he can give his “complete focus” to his work in the theatre.
The Oscar winner, who was praised for his work directing Daniel Craig as 007 in Skyfall, said it had been “a very difficult decision” not to direct the next film.
He told Empire Magazine: “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.”
King Lear will see Mendes work at the National Theatre, while his stage musical version of the Roald Dahl story sees him return to the West End.
Skyfall was a critical and commercial success, picking up five Oscar nominations and winning one for Original Song.