Sam-Mendes-and-Roger-Deakins-on-set-of-SkyfallWhilst we can look forward to seeing Sam Mendes return to the helm for the as-yet-untitled Bond 24, one person that will sadly be missing from the shoot is Mendes’ frequent cinematographer, Roger Deakins.

In Contention’s Kris Tapley recently took to Twitter to reveal that he’d had dinner with Deakins and learned that Deakins will sadly not be shooting the anticipated next Bond film.

The plot details are understandably being kept tightly under wraps, but we do know that John Logan is returning to write the script, with Daniel Craig of course taking the lead once more for what could be his penultimate outing as the eponymous agent.

Deakins, who has earned an impressive eleven Oscar nominations for his work over the years, first worked with Mendes back on 2005’s Jarhead, before reuniting with him on 2008’s Revolutionary Road.

Fast forward four years, and he was earning his tenth nomination for his masterful work on Mendes’ Skyfall, which saw the Bond franchise reignited to new levels of success, crossing the billion-dollar threshold for the first time.

Details as to why Deakins won’t be returning for Bond’s twenty-fourth outing aren’t yet known. His scheduling on Skyfall sadly ruled him out of reuniting with his other frequent collaborators, the Coen brothers, for Inside Llewyn Davis, so we can only hope that the brothers have already asked Deakins to work on their next project.

His eleventh Oscar nomination, for his work on Prisoners, is currently pending ahead of next month’s ceremony, in the running alongside Bruno Delbonnel for Inside Llewyn Davis, Emmanuel Lubezki for Gravity, Phedon Papamichael for Nebraska, and Philippe Le Sourd for The Grandmaster.

Naturally, talk will now turn to who will be his replacement, if indeed one hasn’t already been found. Conrad L. Hall’s work as director of photography on Mendes’ first two films, American Beauty and Road to Perdition, won him his second and third Oscars, but he sadly passed away back in 2003, leading to Mendes’ first time working with Deakins on Jarhead.

After executive producing 2012’s very successful Hollow Crown series, Mendes could turn back to one of the three cinematographers he worked with, Danny Cohen (Les Misérables), Ben Smithard (My Week with Marilyn), or Michael McDonough (Winter’s Bone). Or alternatively strike up a new relationship altogether. Lubezki’s work on Gravity was absolutely stunning, and seeing him take on a blockbuster of an entirely different kind in Bond 24 would certainly be an interesting move. The possibilities are endless.

The as-yet-untitled Bond 24 will be released on 23rd October, 2015 in the UK, before its November 6th, 2015 US release date.