Sam Mendes to direct James Bond 24

The screenplay for the Sony Pictures Entertainment film will be written by John Logan.

The screenplay for the Sony Pictures Entertainment film will be written by John Logan. Picture: AFP

LONDON - Sam Mendes will direct Daniel Craig as 007 in the 24th instalment of the blockbuster James Bond film franchise about the fictional British spy, its producers said on Thursday.

The film is set for release in the autumn of 2015 and follows on the success of Mendes-directed predecessor Skyfall, which earned $1.1 billion at the box office worldwide and was the highest-grossing film of all time in Britain, producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said in a statement.

"Following the extraordinary success of Skyfall, we're really excited to be working once again with Daniel Craig, Sam Mendes and John Logan," Wilson and Broccoli said.

Mendes has been rumoured as the director of the latest Bond project for months.

"I am very pleased that by giving me the time I need to honour all my theatre commitments, the producers have made it possible for me to direct Bond 24," the 47-year-old Mendes said in the statement.

Mendes has a long background in theatre direction and burst on to the movie scene by winning an Academy Award for his debut feature "American Beauty" starring Kevin Spacey.

His collaboration with Craig as the suave superspy and handling of key new cast including Ralph Fiennes and Ben Whishaw in Skyfall was widely praised by critics and helped the film become a major commercial success.