It was fun dreaming about a Sam Mendes-directed James Bond movie (Michael Shannon as Jaws!), but now that the 007 franchise has been postponed indefinitely, the Oscar-winning director has been scrambling to find another gig. He's said to be doing ads for the new iPhone, and he was first choice to direct Robert Downey, Jr. in the Wizard of Oz prequel, Oz the Great and Powerful. But here's an option you might not have expected: Mendes will direct a new version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, according to Deadline.

Unfortunately, though, this is not another case of rebooting something Tim Burton ruined with his own remake. Rather, this Willy Wonka production is for the stage, a musical show from songwriters Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (Hairspray) and playwright David Grieg to open in London and later move to Broadway. Can I start the campaign for Michael Shannon as the iconic candyman?
That show won't go on until late 2011, so Mendes has time to make a film, too. But it won't be the Oz origin, which he's told Disney he can no longer do. He'd rather do an adaptation of Ian McEwan's novel On Chesil Beach, which the author is scripting himself. The plot of the book, about a young British couple figuring out their sexuality over the course of a night during their honeymoon in the early 1960s, seems perfect for the director of American Beauty and Revolutionary Road. Carey Mulligan is in talks to play the female lead.

Deadline does claim Mendes is still interested in tackling Bond, whenever production on the next installment resumes. Hopefully his schedule ends up fitting with that despite all these new gigs. If he has to pass, however, there's always Bond 24. And of course another director (Martin Campbell?) could also cast Shannon as an evil henchmen in the meantime, right?
categories Cinematical