Yes, you’ve heard it before, but Sam Mendes really means it this time. Even though he said Skyfall was his last James Bond film, and even though he directed Spectre anyway, and even though he already said Spectre would be his final outing with 007, this time he means business. Mendes is officially done with James Bond, and it’s hard not to believe that he’s for-really-real about it considering the rampant rumors (with supporting evidence) of Daniel Craig’s exit.

While appearing at the Hay Festival of literature in Wales (via THR), Mendes said of the Bond series, “I think it's time for somebody else,” adding, “it was an incredible adventure. I loved every second of it.” Explaining the reason for his exit, Mendes echoed a similar statement he made last year: “I’m a storyteller. And at the end of the day, I want to make stories with new characters.”

Mendes is also known for directing the Oscar-winning American Beauty, as well as the Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet period film Revolutionary Road, both of which allowed the director to utilize his background in theatre to create intimately heightened character-driven drama.

As for who might replace him in the Bond franchise, Mendes says he hopes the next director comes from an “unexpected direction,” much as he had. With Daniel Craig’s return increasingly unlikely, and rumors that Tom Hiddleston has already been made an offer to take on the role of 007, it seems only fitting for a new director to come in along with a new star.

Speaking of which, although Hiddleston and Idris Elba have been heavily favorited by fans, Mendes cautions that there’s only one person who gets to make that decision: longtime Bond producer Barbara Broccoli, who selected a then-little-known Daniel Craig for the role of the iconic agent. Although Hiddleston is rumored to have an offer, additional reports claim that Jamie Bell has also recently met with Broccoli about the part.

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