Is Sam Mendes in negotiations to direct Bond 23?

I heard reports of this yesterday, but didn’t really think it was serious. With Bond movies and rumors, it’s always best to be cautious. Now it’s in The Hollywood Reporter and Variety, and these are highly reliable sources (especially in combination!).

The long-running drama surrounding MGM’s future took an odd turn Tuesday with rumors sweeping through the town about Sam Mendes directing next James Bond film.

The beleaguered studio refused to confirm reports about Mendes being in talks for the 23rd Bond pic. MGM also denied other reports that pre-production had been halted after producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli told Total Film magazine that the uncertainty surrounding the Lion’s ownership had left the project’s timeline “a little up in the air what with the situation at MGM, so we have to be flexible.”

Speculation about Mendes as a Bond director has emerged in recent weeks, possibly due to his having directed Daniel Craig in “Road to Perdition.”

Note that Variety still calls it a rumor. THR is more definitive, also stating that Peter Morgan is joining Purvis & Wade for the script.

This is bad news. Mendes doesn’t have action chops, although he’s better than Marc Forster in that regard, having some action experience with Road to Perdition and Jarhead. But he’s a Serious Director™ and that concerns me more than the lack of action experience. He’s Meaningful and Important and it says to me that Wilson & Broccoli haven’t learned the lesson of Quantum of Solace which is, in a word, that you can go too far down that road. (Okay, that’s more than a word.)

Please, somebody throw in a joke!