Photo: Vittorio Zunino Celotto (Getty Images)

For years, Quentin Tarantino has claimed that he’ll retire after making his 10th film, ostensibly because he doesn’t want to overstay his welcome in the industry, and—at least by his “official” count—the upcoming Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood will be ninth film. That leaves only one more chatty, artistically violent, and self-aware movie for teenage cinephiles to obsess over before Tarantino hangs up his puffy director pants, but a new interview with GQ Australia teases that his retirement might end up coming sooner than we think.

The interview is mostly with Brad Pitt, who appears in Once Upon A Time alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Emile Hirsch, but the subject of Tarantino’s self-imposed retirement did come up briefly. The director said that he thinks he’s “come to the end of the road” with “theatrical movies,” but he hopes to write “film books” or theatre after he finishes with movies so he can remain creative. The interviewer then pushed Tarantino on why he wouldn’t just stop with this movie, which is very much a movie about movies and may or may not have some kind of alternate universe hook like Inglourious Basterds (“peak Tarantino,” in GQ’s words), and Tarantino apparently took that idea into consideration. “If it’s really well received, maybe I won’t go to 10,” he said in response. “Maybe I’ll stop right now! Maybe I’ll stop while I’m ahead. We’ll see.”

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It kind of sounds like Tarantino could be joking a bit there, though it’s hard to get the tone in print, but it does imply that he doesn’t necessarily have a specific vision for what his next/final film could be. He’s still supposedly working on that Star Trek movie, even though it doesn’t make a lick of goddamn sense, but he could even still direct that and then declare that it’s not one of his canonical 10 films. Or maybe he’ll really stop after this one and let someone else make his R-rated Star Trek movie—which, again, is a ridiculous idea.