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JK! Sam Mendes In Talks to Direct Bond 24

DanielCraig_Skyfall_7_300 Sony

UPDATE: Not so fast there, Mendes! Mz. Broccoli isn't finished with you yet! According to a Deadline Hollywood report that went up just hours after Variety published a story revealing all of the directors in the running, the guy who directed "Skyfall" (and won an Oscar for "American Beauty") is back in the running to direct Bond 24 after all. Mendes had told Empire Magazine that he bowed out in order to focus on other projects, including a West End production of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." The Deadline report says that Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and her half-brother Michael Wilson are now open to waiting for him.

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EARLIER: Are we ready to see James Bond with a wizard's wand? Will Nick Fury ask him to join "The Avengers" in a post-credits scene? How about Daniel Craig donning the "Iron Man" suit, helping a royal get over a stutter, or (gulp) fighting Hulk dogs?

After Sam Mendes officially passed on directing the next James Bond movie, Sony started meeting with a number of directors to helm the 24th entry in the 007 series (we don't count those two non-canonical flicks produced outside of EON, do we?). A report in Variety revealed some of the names on that list: David Yates ("Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2," #4 on the worldwide all-time box-office chart), Shane Black ("Iron Man 3," #5 on that list at the moment), Tom Hooper ("The King's Speech") and Ang Lee ("Hulk." The one with Hulk dogs). The Hollywood trade publication reviled by '80s punk band The Vandals also confirmed an earlier report from First Showing that said Nicolas Winding Refn ("Drive") is in the running, as well. Whoever gets the job, it's likely that Mr. Bond himself, Daniel Craig, will get to approve of them, first.

Sony wants to make at least two more Bond pictures with Craig in the tuxedo, but details are still being worked out for his deal. Last year's "Skyfall" made over $1.1 billion worldwide.

"Skyfall" writer John Logan will tackle the next film, which the studio hopes to have out in 2016. Not for nothing, but Craig will be 48 by then. Maybe Refn will come onboard and cast Ryan Gosling, just for an excuse to gore up the movies a little bit.

Barbara Broccoli has served as producer on the Daniel Craig and Pierce Brosnan Bond flicks. Her father, of course, was Albert R. "Cubby" Broccoli, who co-founded EON Productions. Barbara first worked for her father on a Bond film at age 17, doing PR for 1977's "The Spy Who Loved Me." Now that is an episode of MTV's "When I Was 17" we'd love to see.

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