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Originally published Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 6:24 AM

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Sam Mendes says no to next James Bond film

Never say never again? Sam Mendes says he won't be directing the next James Bond film - but may work on the series again in the future.

The Associated Press

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LONDON —

Never say never again? Sam Mendes says he won't be directing the next James Bond film - but may work on the series again in the future.

Mendes has been praised for his work on "Skyfall," the first Bond film to rake in more than $1 billion in revenue.

But Mendes says he has made the "very difficult decision" to focus on other projects "that need my complete focus over the next year and beyond." They include upcoming London stage productions of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and "King Lear."

In comments published Wednesday by movie magazine Empire, Mendes said he was honored to have been part of the Bond family, "and very much hope I have a chance to work with them again."

Mendes worked in theater before turning to film. He won an Academy Award in 2000 for "American Beauty."

"Skyfall," which stars Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem and Judi Dench, won two Oscars last month, including one for Adele's theme song.

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