The person chosen to play the next James Bond will be an unexpected one, the franchise's outgoing director has said.
British filmmaker Sam Mendes said the sole choice for the next star of the hugely successful franchise lies with producer Barbara Broccoli.
He also confirmed he will not be returning to direct the next film, saying he is ready to work on something new, the Telegraph reported.
Speaking at Hay Festival Mendes, who directed Skyfall and Spectre, said: "I'm a storyteller and at the end of the day I want to make stories with new characters."
He said he had loved the "incredible adventure" of working on Bond, but added: "I think it's time for somebody else to do a great job."
Speculation is rife as to which actor will next step into the spy's impeccably polished shoes to replace Daniel Craig 10 years after he first took the helm with Casino Royale.
Tom Hiddleston, Aidan Turner, Idris Elba, Damian Lewis and most recently Billy Elliot star Jamie Bell have all been touted as possible 007s.
Mendes said both the choice of director and lead role is likely to be a little unexpected.
He said: "I can guarantee whatever happens with it, it will not be what you expect. That's what she (Broccoli) has been brilliant at, and that's how it'll survive."