(EW.com) -- Despite "Skyfall" being the most commercially successful "James Bond" movie ever, director Sam Mendes won't be returning for Bond's next go-round.
Mendes' rep confirmed the director's statement in Empire magazine, which explains that he will not direct James Bond's 24th adventure.
"It has been a very difficult decision not to accept Michael [G. Wilson] and Barbara [Broccoli]'s very generous offer to direct the next Bond movie," Mendes said. "Directing Skyfall was one of the best experiences of my professional life, but I have theatre and other commitments, including productions of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory and King Lear, that need my complete focus over the next year and beyond."
But while Mendes said he won't be directing 007′s next picture, he didn't rule out a return to the franchise later on. "I feel very honoured to have been part of the Bond family," said Mendes, "and very much hope I have a chance to work with them again sometime in the future."
With Mendes out of the running, who would you like to see direct the next James Bond flick?
Chris Nashawaty contributed to this report.
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