For years, Quentin Tarantino has said he wants to end his career on a high note. He’s also said he wants to make 10 movies and retire, but it sounds like he may be reconsidering that stance. On the most recent episode of the New Beverly Theater’s Pure Cinema Podcast, which focused on directors’ final films, Tarantino joked that maybe he should go out on top after making Once Upon a Time in Hollywood a couple of years ago.
“This is one of the many subjects I think about 24/7,” Tarantino said in the early minutes of the podcast episode. “To end a career with a decent movie is rare. To end it with a good movie is kinda phenomenal…most directors’ last films are fucking lousy.” Tarantino cited Bonnie and Clyde and Night Moves director Arthur Penn as a specific example, calling the fact that Penn’s last film was Penn and Teller Get Killed a metaphor for the entire phenomenon. As the conversation continued regarding just how bad those movies can be, Tarantino seemed to come to a realization (albeit with a bit of a joking tone):
“This is making me think maybe I should not make another movie because I could be really, really happy with dropping the mic on Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” he said. “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. If Don Siegel had stopped with Escape From Alcatraz? ‘Oh my fucking God. What a career.’”
Tarantino also admits that he has been “self-mythologizing” the arc of his career, alluding to the many previous times he has mentioned wanting to retire after releasing his tenth film. Technically, Kill Bill was released as two movies, so he could walk away now and still have ten movies under his belt. But he’s teased the possibility of another Kill Bill sequel, or he might go with a different original idea instead. Regardless, he’s keeping pretty busy: he has a new book coming out this month, he wrote a play that he wants to produce soon, and he also wrote full episodes for a Bounty Law TV series (based on the fictional show in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood) which may or may not actually get made into a limited series.
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