The fictional MI6 agent, played most recently by Daniel Craig, perished at the end of the franchise’s 25th and latest film – which grossed more than £1billion at the box office.
It was a move that had some fans believing No Time To Die would be the final outing for Bond – at least until the credits confirmed he would return.
Now director Mendes, who oversaw Skyfall and Spectre but was not involved with No Time To Die, has said that the decision to kill the superspy was inspired by him.
Commenting on Skyfall, one of the most acclaimed and successful Bond films of all time, said: ‘You could say it was my fault because I killed M [Judi Dench].’
He told MailOnline: ‘That was the first moment in the series when a character acknowledged not only dying, rather than just being replaced by another actor.’
Details about the next outing are incredibly thin on the ground, with no director attached to any future projects and no actor slated to replace Craig.
However, reports earlier this year indicated that a deal has been reached by Warner Bros which will keep Bond films in production until at least 2037.
So far, the character has been portrayed by six different actors across more than two-dozen films since Dr No in 1962.
Sir Sean Connery played Bond in the franchise’s official Eon production films between 1962 and 1971, replaced briefly by George Lazenby and then by Roger Moore in 1972.
In 1985, Timothy Dalton took over the role for two films, before Pierce Brosnan replaced him in 1995, holding onto the role until 2004.
As for who will replace Craig, Mendes said: ‘I think that the actor playing Bond is going to evolve, the director has to evolve.
‘I think it would be wonderful to see a woman directing Bond. I think it would be wonderful.’
Actor Luke Evans recently maintained his best poker face when he was quizzed about the possibility of becoming 007.
Appearing on The One Show, he was asked: ‘Interestingly, last week, the odds of you being Bond were slashed,’ to which Evans replied innocently: ‘Were they?’