With 'Skyfall' firmly enshrined as the biggest James Bond film of all time (not to mention one of the biggest movies of all time, period), it only makes sense for the producers of the venerable series to keep the good times rolling and start talking Bond 24. They locked up screenwriter John Logan almost immediately after 'Skyfall' first dropped, and now it looks like director Sam Mendes is close to returning as well.

Jump after the break to find out just how close.

According to The Daily Mail, which apparently has a reliable source close to the 'Bond 24' production, Mendes is near "75%" to signing on the dotted line officially. Evidently, Mendes was hesitant to return back when the plan was to shoot the next two Bond films back-to-back, which would have locked up Mendes and cast for at least four years. Since that plan has been scrapped, the Oscar-winning helmer is more likely to return.

Of course, it probably won't hurt when Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson push a wheelbarrow of money in Mendes' general direction; they know as well as anybody that Mendes is one of the key reasons 'Skyfall' is such a monster hit.

Though the 'Bond 24' storyline is reportedly set, and a 2014 release is being eyed, the film won't go into production until at least the end of this year. Mendes is busy mounting a revival of 'Charlie in the Chocolate Factory' on the London stage, as well as a new version of 'King Lear' for January of '13. He'll be wrapped up for a while, but 007 will probably have no problem waiting a bit longer for the man who has restored integrity to the franchise.