Quentin Tarantino says he’ll be retiring after his tenth film, which means one more film after “The Hateful Eight,” his Western now officially starring Channing Tatum, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Demian Bechir and Walton Goggins.
“I don’t believe you should stay onstage until people are begging you to get off…I like the idea of leaving them wanting a bit more. I do think directing is a young man’s game, and I like the idea of an umbilical cord connection from my first to my last movie. I’m not trying to ridicule anyone who thinks differently, but I want to go out while I’m still hard.
“I like that I will leave a 10-film filmography, and so I’ve got two more to go after this. It’s not etched in stone, but that is the plan. If I get to the 10th, do a good job and don’t screw it up, well that sounds like a good way to end the old career. If, later on, I come across a good movie, I won’t not do it just because I said I wouldn’t. But 10 and done, leaving them wanting more — that sounds right.”
The trouble is that directors who say they’re retiring end up struggling to do so. Look at Hayao Miyazaki, recently presented with a career-honoring achievement prize at the Governors Awards, who wants to decamp from Hollywood to work on manga but hasn’t really just yet. (It seems this is finally a reality, as Studio Ghibli shutters feature film production and Miyazaki confirms his retirement in the LA Times.)
As for Tarantino, he’s the toast of the town at the AFM this week, where he and the foreign-money-seeking Weinsteins are running a tight ship to keep “The Hateful Eight” screenplay under wraps. Investors who want to read the script have been schlepping from AFM headquarters in Santa Monica to the TWC headquarters in Beverly Hills, and under company supervision. That’s because Tarantino wants to avoid repeating the Gawker Media scandal in which the Western project almost foundered after the site got its hands on an original draft and leaked it.
During the same AFM panel, Tarantino, whose New Beverly theater in Los Angeles is now a celluloid-only venue, once again affirmed his staunch position on film vs. digital projection. He wants “The Hateful Eight” to be an epic 70mm experience, stating
“If we do our jobs right by making this film a 70 mm event, we will remind people why this is something you can’t see on television and how this is an experience you can’t have when you watch movies in your apartment, your man cave or your iPhone or iPad…You’ll see 24 frames per second play out, all these wonderfully painted pictures create the illusion of movement. I’m hoping it’s going to stop the momentum of the digital stuff, and that people will hopefully go, ‘Man, that is going to the movies, and that is worth saving, and we need to see more of that.”
As evinced in these remarks, I’m willing to bet that the man who staged a coup at the New Beverly and who’s likely to throw a fit if you bring a DCP anywhere near his theater is far too hubristic to ever, truly, retire.