LONDON• Sam Mendes said he will not direct the next instalment in the James Bond series.
The British director told an audience at the Hay Festival of literature in Wales last Saturday: "It was an incredible adventure, I loved every second of it. But I think it's time for somebody else."
Mendes, who directed Skyfall (2012) and Spectre (2015), both hits, said he hoped the next Bond director would come from an "unexpected direction", just as he, a former theatre director, had.
"I'm a storyteller. At the end of the day, I want to make stories with new characters," he said of his next moves.
His comment followed unconfirmed talk that Daniel Craig was to leave the series, with stars including Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba and Jamie Bell being rumoured as his replacement.
On this, Mendes said: "The truth is - and here's the headline - it's not a democracy.
"It's not the X Factor, it's not the EU referendum, it's not a public vote. Barbara Broccoli (the Bond films producer) chooses who's going to be the next Bond, end of story," the Telegraph quoted him as saying.
He said it was Broccoli who supported Craig to star in Casino Royale (2006) against public opinion.
"I can guarantee whatever happens with it, it will not be what you expect. That's what she's been brilliant at, and that's how it'll survive," Mendes, 50, added.