Quentin Tarantino has been quite vocal for years now about his plan to retire from filmmaking after his 10th feature film. The director’s upcoming “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” is his ninth movie, which would make it his penultimate directorial effort if he’s serious about giving up the job. Some fans have doubted Tarantino will give up directing, but the Oscar-winning writer-director seems more serious than ever about his retirement plan in a new interview with GQ Australia.
“I think when it comes to theatrical movies, I’ve come to the end of the road,” Tarantino said. “I see myself writing film books and starting to write theatre, so I’ll still be creative. I just think I’ve given all I have to give to movies.”
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” is Tarantino’s love letter to the filmmaking era that made him fall in love with cinema as a young kid. The movie, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, and Margot Robbie, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year to considerable acclaim. That the film is Tarantino’s most personal would make it a fitting curtain call to his cinema-obsessed career, and the director no longer seems to be adamant about his original 10-film plan.
“Well, um,” Tarantino said when asked if he might just stop after “Hollywood.” “If it’s really well received, maybe I won’t go to 10. Maybe I’ll stop right now! Maybe I’ll stop while I’m ahead. We’ll see.”
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Tarantino isn’t joking, at least not according to Brad Pitt. The actor, who also starred in Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds,” told GQ Australia, “No, I don’t think he’s bluffing at all. I think he’s dead serious. And I kind of openly lament that to him, but he understands the math of when he feels like directors start falling off their game. But he has other plans and we’re not going to have to say goodbye for a long time.”
Tarantino’s 10-movie career goal has long baffled his fans and some of his legendary filmmaking friends, including Paul Thomas Anderson. During his “Phantom Thread” press tour, Anderson made headlines for saying he didn’t understand Tarantino’s philosophy considering just how much both men love the art of moviemaking.
“I know Quentin [Tarantino] likes to say, ‘I’m making 10 movies and then I’m quitting.’ But I could never do that,” Anderson said. “I don’t know how he could say that, or how he could take himself seriously when he says that. This is what I want to do as long as I’m able to do it. As long as I’m able to do it, I’m going to do it.”
Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” opens July 26 from Sony Pictures.