Will the director really say goodbye after film number 10?
Writer/director Quentin Tarantino has famously said for years that after he makes a tenth feature film, he's walking away from directing. We've speculated since then about what that movie might be, or if he really means it.
Well, based on Tarantino's latest appearance on the Pure Cinema Podcast, he seems to be sticking to his guns.
The latest episode of the podcast is an amazing three hours all about directors and their final films. The team discusses the work of several iconic directors, including Tony Scott and Unstoppable, which is one of our favorites too.
"This is one of the many subjects I think about 24/7," Tarantino says early on.
But Tarantino also points out most film directors don't end on high notes, and unfortunately find their careers in decline at the end. Sometimes our favorite classic directors end up taking whatever work they can get when their stars fade a bit.
When asked how he views a list like this, Tarantino was very pragmatic about how he chose his directors.
"I think it's kind of easy, for the simple fact that most directors have horrible last movies," Tarantino says on the podcast. "Usually their worst movies are their last movies. That’s the case for most of the Golden Age directors that ended up making their last movies in the late 60s and the 70s, then that ended up being the case for most of the New Hollywood directors who made their last movies in the late 80s and the 90s."
He says most of these directors ended on a "crummy" note, and it's rarer to end on an actually good film.
The discussion led Tarantino to reflect on his own career. How can he end with a solid project, when so many big directors have failed?
"It's making me think maybe I should not make another movie,” he says with a laugh. “I could be really, really happy with dropping the mic on Once Upon a Time in Hollywood."
He continues a bit later, "That’s the frustrating part, is a lot of the really terrific directors, it’s like their third to the last movie would have been an amazing, amazing one to end on, which goes back to what I was saying about myself. Or you know, if Don Siegel had stopped with Escape from Alcatraz, oh my fucking God. What a career.”
It seems like Tarantino is really preoccupied with this issue and is trying his best to end on a strong project that will uphold his legacy as a director. That's a lot of pressure to put on a filmmaker, to go into a project determined to create essentially the crowning achievement of a career.
So what happens if Tarantino makes movie number 10, and it's a flop? Will he bend the rules for himself to make something better?
Probably not. He has said he wants to focus on family and other kinds of projects. Just check out this interview with Peter Travers.
Do you think Tarantino can create the perfect final film before he walks away forever? Let us know in the comments.