Date: 17th August 2001
OSCAR winning director SAM MENDES has dropped out of the running to become head of London's NATIONAL THEATRE.
The AMERICAN BEAUTY (1999) movie maker and BILLY ELLIOT (2000) creator STEPHEN DALDRY were among the front-runners expected to apply for the post, but their names are missing from the latest shortlist.
The current shortlist comprises of JUDE KELLY, NICHOLAS HYTNER, JOHN CAIRD and HOWARD DAVIES.
BRITISH BROADCASTING CORPORATION (BBC) broadcaster JOHN WILSON called Mendes and Daldry "two great young hopes of British theatre," whose removal from the running will disappoint a large amount of the artistic community.
Mendes is currently filming with JUDE LAW and TOM HANKS, while Daldry is finishing the NICOLE KIDMAN biopic about novelist VIRGINIA WOOLF called HOURS, the (2001). (ES/WNWCCB)