The Oscar-winning American Beauty filmmaker, whose recent Bond installment Skyfall is the most successful in the franchise's history, revealed that he turned down an offer from producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli to come back to the series in order to concentrate on his upcoming theatre projects.
"It has been a very difficult decision not to accept Michael and Barbara's very generous offer to direct the next Bond movie," Mendes told Empire.
"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."
He continued: "I feel very honored to have been part of the Bond family and very much hope I have a chance to work with them again sometime in the future."
"We would have loved to have made the next film with him but completely respect his decision to focus on other projects and hope to have the opportunity to collaborate with him again."
Previous rumors had claimed that Mendes was 75% certain to return to the director's chair.
Skyfall screenwriter John Logan is currently working on a script for Bond 24, with Daniel Craig, Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw and Ralph Fiennes all due to return.
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Watch Digital Spy's Skyfall interview with Naomie Harris below: