Sam Mendes Won't Be Directing the Next James Bond Film

[caption id="attachment_25623" align="alignleft" width="300"]MGM MGM[/caption]

If you were wondering who "Skyfall" director Sam Mendes thinks is the greatest James Bond villain of all time, the answer is apparently Dr. No, as Empire is reporting that Mendes has just given a big thumbs down to the idea of directing the next James Bond film.

Where's that Grumpy Cat meme when you need it?

"Skyfall," just in case you've somehow forgotten, has become to most successful Bond film of all time, racking up over $1.1 billion worldwide and reinvigorating the 50-year-old franchise. So naturally, producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli were pretty darn keen on getting Mendes to come back for the next installment as well.

Unfortunately, though, that's not going to happen.

"It has been a very difficult decision not to accept Michael and Barbara’s very generous offer to direct the next Bond movie," Mendes said. "Directing 'Skyfall' was one of the best experiences of my professional life, but I have theater 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."

Mendes didn't, however, rule out a return to Bond once those commitments have been satisfied. "I feel very honored to have been part of the Bond family", said Mendes, "and very much hope I have a chance to work with them again sometime in the future."

For their part, Wilson and Broccoli also kept the door open for Mendes to someday return to Bond.

"We thoroughly enjoyed working with Sam," the pair said in a statement. "He directed our most successful Bond movie ever, 'Skyfall.' We would have loved to have made the next film with him but completely respect his decision to focus on other projects and hope to have the opportunity to collaborate with him again."

Here's hoping.