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Quentin Tarantino

Tarantino talks about retiring again, says he should quit while he’s ahead

The director has been promising to stop making films since 2014

Quentin Tarantino has threatened to retire more times than the number of films he’s directed. And now, he’s done it again, saying he thinks he should quit while he’s ahead.

“Most directors have horrible last movies,” the filmmaker told the Pure Cinema Podcast. “Usually their worst movies are their last movies. That’s the case for most of the Golden Age directors who ended up making their last movies in the late 60s and 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 90s.”

“So to actually end your career on a decent movie is rare,” Tarantino continued. “To end it with a good movie is kind of phenomenal.” The director went on to joke that perhaps he should end his career with Once Upon A Time In Hollywood – a film that was met with the usual chorus of acclaim and dissent that Tarantino elicits.

“Maybe I should not make another movie because I could be really happy with dropping the mic,” the director added. “The frustrating part is (that with) a lot of the really terrific directors, their third-to-last movie would have been an amazing one to end on, which goes back to what I was saying about myself.”

As previously mentioned, Tarantino is no stranger to conversations about retirement. Back in 2014, the filmmaker promised to stop making films after his tenth feature. He doubled down on this claim in 2016, but with the caveat that he might make a “geriatric” one when he’s 75. Then, in 2019, following the release of his ninth film, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, Tarantino once again said he had “one more to make”. Later that year, though, he said Kill Bill 3 is on the cards – however, the franchise is widely regarded as one film, which means this wouldn’t count towards his total. And, finally, last year the director declared that he’s now too old for filmmaking, in light of his journey into fatherhood.

“I kind of feel this is the time for the third act (of my life) to just lean a little bit more into the literary, which would be good as a new father, as a new husband,” he said at the time. “I wouldn’t be grabbing my family and yanking them to Germany or Sri Lanka or wherever the next story takes place. I can be a little bit more of a homebody, and become a little bit more of a man of letters.”

Tarantino has already started his new career as “a man of letters”, with his novelisation of Once Upon A Time In Hollywood due on June 29. The book is set to be a “complete rethinking” of the 2019 film, and will delve into the past of Brad Pitt’s character, Cliff Booth. It will be released alongside a non-fiction book, titled Cinema Speculation, which will offer “a deep dive into the movies of the 1970s, a rich mix of essays, reviews, personal writing, and tantalising ‘what ifs’”.

While you’re eagerly awaiting more news on Tarantino’s impending retirement, look back at an early interview conducted by the director when he was just 20 years old here.