Skyfall is officially the most successful James Bond movie ever. A behemoth of a movie, directed by Oscar winner Sam Mendes and perhaps establishing Daniel Craig as the best 007 of all time. It's smashed box office expectations, which usually means one thing: a fast turnaround on a follow-up film.
There was a four-year gap between the two most recent Bond movies though that was mainly down to legal challenges. At the time, producer Barbra Broccoli told the Los Angeles Times, "Sometimes there are external pressures from a studio who want you to make it in a certain time frame or for their own benefit, and sometimes we've given into that. But following what we hope will be a tremendous success with 'Skyfall,' we have to try to keep the deadlines within our own time limits and not cave in to external pressures." They may be forced to cave into those pressures once the buzz surrounding Skyfall settles. If it wins a Golden Globe or an Oscar, you can basically guarantee production on the next movie will begin pretty sharpish. There may be a problem - namely that Broccoli and her fellow producers are yet to settle on a future direction. "We like Daniel [Craig], obviously, and we like the way he portrays the Bond character. Our challenge is to find situations that will feel different and fresh and new and put Daniel and that character into those situations. It's daunting", said producer Michael Wilson. Craig has made no secret of his desire to leave the franchise in the near future and he strikes us as the kind of actor who would rather ensure his legacy and go out on a high. If Sam Mendes returns for another film, it's likely Craig will follow, though it's not beyond the realms of possibility that the British star will pursue other projects.
We know for a fact that The Wire's own Idris Elba has met with Broccoli concerning the vacant Bond role once Craig moves on, and he's currently 9/2 in the betting for the job. It would be intriguing casting, though it's likely the powers that be will opt for someone like Sam Worthington or Michael Fassbender instead.