James Bond will return to theaters in fall 2015 with “Skyfall” director Sam Mendes on board for the 24th film in the franchise along with Daniel Craig as the iconic British spy.
MGM topper Gary Barber and Sony toppers Michael Lynton and Amy Pascal made the announcement Thursday with producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli. Mendes, who had been expected to take the gig, will direct the screenplay written by John Logan.
The studios also announced Thursday that they have locked in release dates for the yet-to-be titled film, setting the U.K. launch for Oct. 23, 2015, and U.S. for Nov. 6, 2015.
Craig will be in his fourth iteration as Bond following “Casino Royale,” “Quantum of Solace” and “Skyfall.” He agreed last fall before “Skyfall” to appear in the 24th and 25th Bond films.
Logan, who penned “Skyfall,” also signed last fall to write the 24th and 25th Bond films.
SEE ALSO: John Logan to write next two Bond films
“Skyfall,” which began its run in October, is the top grosser in the franchise with $1.1 billion worldwide, the best DVD/Blu-Ray seller and the all-time best performer at the U.K. box office. It also won Oscars for Adele’s original song and sound editing.
Mendes has been in London directing the stage musical “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” which opened June 25. He had indicated in March that he would not direct the 24th Bond film but was then reported in late May as being in negotiations to do so.
Mendes said in a statement, “I am very pleased that by giving me the time I need to honor all my theater commitments, the producers have made it possible for me to direct Bond 24. I very much look forward to taking up the reins again, and to working with Daniel Craig, Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli for a second time.”
Sony teamed with MGM to co-finance and distribute the last three Bond movies. It announced in April 2011 that it had come on board for the 23rd film, which became “Skyfall,” and the 24th.
SEE ALSO: Sony to release next James Bond pic