The success of Skyfall was phenomenal. It broke records by becoming the highest grossing movie in England, and has been hailed the ‘best Bond ever’. No wonder, then, the director Sam Mendes has been courted to helm the next Bond, and even the next after that…

But it’s a no from Sam. The British-born director has officially ruled himself out of the running, telling Empire: "It has been a very difficult decision not to accept Michael and Barbara’s very generous offer to direct the next Bond movie. 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." Skyfall is by far the most successful Bond film, with a worldwide take currently standing at $1.11bn, but Mendes will be looking to please smaller audiences, for less money, with his upcoming and aforementioned theatre productions of the Roald Dahl and Shakespeare classics. He had suggested that his involvement with the 007 franchise to stretch to a 24th film, saying, "I feel very honoured to have been part of the Bond family and very much hope I have a chance to work with them again sometime in the future."

Sam Mendes - EE British Academy Film Awards London United KingdomDaniel Craig The 2013 National Board of Review Awards Gala

One of these men is saying no to the next Bond. And It's not Daniel Craig

And it would appear producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli will be sad to seem him go. "We thoroughly enjoyed working with Sam: he directed our most successful Bond movie ever, Skyfall,” they said in a statement. “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."