As Quentin Tarantino Discusses Retirement, a Look At What Movie Should Be the Director's Final Behind the Camera
The time may come soon when Quentin Tarantino retires, and the final film he makes possibly his most important.
Throughout the past several years, Quentin Tarantino has reinforced this notion that he’ll retire from filmmaking after his tenth feature. If true, then that will make Once Upon a Time in Hollywood the auteur’s second-to-last outing. Enjoy the ride while it lasts, folks!
Now, just to be clear, I fully expect Tarantino to break this self-imposed oath and not retire. Don’t get me wrong: I see the purity – the “completeness” – of having a 10-movie filmography. As we look back on his work decades from now, that piece of trivia might add a little something to his legacy.
You know what would be an even greater boon to the Legend of Quentin, though? More Tarantino movies! With each of his subsequent works, the filmmaking landscape becomes even greener. I mean, if nothing else, then somebody’s got to renew cinema’s justification for existing every few years!
Half-joking aside, I definitely believe Tarantino himself believes it when he says he’s retiring after 10 movies. Given the creative juggernaut that he is, though, I can’t see him stepping away from the camera for more than five years. Eventually, he will once again answer the call and direct an 11th feature.
For a moment, though, let’s at least entertain the possibility that this is it – that he has one more movie following Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and then Tarantino is retiring. From there, the question isn’t so much “what could it possibly be,” given that Tarantino isn’t afraid to share his ideas as they crop up. No, what I’m more interested in discussing is which among these concepts sounds most appealing. In particular, let’s take a look at three avenues Tarantino could possibly explore.
Undoubtedly the most talked-about of Tarantino’s potentially upcoming projects, Star Trek would take the director out of his comfort zone. He’s the type of guy who takes complete ownership of his films, and aside from Jackie Brown, he’s never worked within the realm of existing IP.
Considering Star Trek’s recent cinematic history, the existing J.J. Abrams-verse doesn’t exactly fall in Tarantino’s wheelhouse. Though a recent interview suggests that Tarantino wants to include the Chris Pine-led cast, it also mentioned his desire to set the film within the timeline of the original series. We’ll see whether Paramount is willing to play ball – if so, then I’d give them all the credit in the world for being so gutsy as to trust Tarantino with that continuity.
In any case, for a franchise that – on television, anyway – is as talky as it is, Tarantino should at least be able to inject his signature, juicy dialogue.
Kill Bill: Vol. 3
Despite boasting a low-key cinematic universe of his own, Tarantino has never been in the franchise business. As in, no one film could properly be considered a sequel, prequel, or even spin-off to another. Even the Kill Bill films were shot as one. That said, he sure does love talking about the possibilities. Whether it’s a Vega Brothers spinoff or an Inglourious Basterds film truly centered on the Basterds themselves, Tarantino has discussed the idea of revisiting pre-established characters on multiple occasions.
The sequel that seems to occur in interviews most often, though, is one to Kill Bill. Now, spoiler alert to anyone who hasn’t watched Tarantino’s magnum opus: Beatrix killed Bill. That said, the mythology he built around these characters is so fascinating that – similarly to John Wick – it has all the makings of a veritable franchise.
Now, having said that, I’m somewhat conflicted on the idea of a sequel. Kill Bill perpetually dukes it out with Pulp Fiction for my all-time favorite movie spot. As such – and I hate to be this guy – I’m sensitive to anything that could potentially compromise that original story. In the case of almost any other action-adventure film I’ve enjoyed, I’d say “a sequel? Hell yeah,” but we’re on sacred ground here.
I’ve used these words already, but there are a purity and completeness to the film that I greatly admire. And though I’m not typically the biggest fan of prequels, I am kind of enticed by Tarantino’s proposed origin story for Bill himself.
Something Brand New
Of course, we could just throw both of those ideas out the window. Tarantino has never been one to work with big-budget sci-fi franchises or even direct sequels to his own films – why start now? Admittedly, I have a tough time picking any sort of preference. In my book, a new Tarantino movie is a new Tarantino movie. I would say there’s a freshness to him doing yet another wholly original piece, but we’ve seen time and time again that even sequels can prove to be fresh and original.
Regardless of what his tenth film is, I hope that – if it is indeed Tarantino’s final film before retirement – it serves as a tribute to his own career. An ode to his own filmmaking legacy. There’s virtually no other director I can think of who could afford that level of self-indulgence, but this guy’s earned it.
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