Back at the start of the year, it was reported the Bond director, Sam Mendes was in talks with Disney to take the helm of their live-action production of Pinocchio but it would seem Mendes has since departed Disney and walked away from the project.

This isn’t the first time Mendes has dropped out of a Disney production; he was originally down to complete James and the Giant Peach but left to jump on board Pinocchio. Speculation is now rife that Mendes has dropped the project to return to the next outing of 007 for Daniel Craig’s supposedly last turn as the debonair James Bond. The follow-up to Skyfall and Spectre still hasn’t found its director even with 71’s Yann Demange reportedly down as the favourite to take the helm. With a gaping hole now in his schedule after leaving the Disney project, he certainly is free to carry on where he left off.

A few names were shortlisted for the yet as untitled Bond film which had Demange leading, the others included Hell or High Water’s David Mackenzie and Blade’s Denis Villeneuve, Villeneuve has since ruled himself out as he is working on the Dune reboot but has still expressed an interest in Bond at a later time.

Disney aren’t likely to be fretting over his departure, after the major successes of their recent live-action adaptations the big names are flocking to lend their filmmaking skills, for the right price. Tim Burton is leading the way with his version of the classic Disney animation, Dumbo and Guy Ritchie is in the driving seat for Aladdin, Jon Favreau taking on The Lion King and Marc Forster helming Christopher Robin.