Sam Mendes to Direct Next James Bond Flick?

Just days after reports emerged that the next chapter of the venerable James Bond franchise would be delayed by its studio’s ongoing financial problems, The Hollywood Reporter has learned that Bond 23 is actually being “fast-tracked” for a 2011 release, and that Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Revolutionary Road) is in talks to direct it.

If Mendes indeed gets the gig, it will be the first big-budget tentpole project for a director whose film resume is dominated by serious dramatic work. It wouldn’t be the first counterintuitive choice for the Bond franchise, however: 2008’s wildly successful Quantum of Solace was directed by another action movie neophyte, Marc Forster.

Frost/Nixon writer Peter Morgan will join Bond regulars Neil Purvis and Robert Wade on the film’s screenplay, with Daniel Craig reprising his role as Agent 007.