Sam Mendes wants to ''push'' Dame Judi Dench's character, M, further than ever before in the new James Bond film.
The Oscar-winning director has admitted that one of the reasons he took on the 23rd film about the secret agent was because he wanted to develop Judi's alter-ego.
Speaking about the movie - which sees Daniel Craig reprise his role as 007 - Mendes said:
''I didn't just say yes to doing a Bond movie, I said yes to doing a Bond movie with Daniel Craig and Judi Dench. Judi, to me, is one of the great actors of the English-speaking world and so it's a question of... what can we give her that will take her to another level we've never seen her before?
"What can we do with her that will surprise or challenge even her? We pushed it further and we pushed other characters further, too. That's what we're trying to do.''
The 'American Beauty' director has revealed that he's pleased M will be playing a more predominant role in the film, as she's such an interesting character.
Speaking to Collider.com, he added: ''I'm interested in the way that M's backstory is part of this plot, because the movies recently have been leaning toward making her more human and showing more of her personal life and this seems like it's going to dig into that character more."
The 'Oliver!' director teased: "Why was this the time to flesh out M's backstory and make that really contingent on the plot?''
Judi Dench, Daniel Craig and stars attend 'Skyfall' launch...