Quentin Tarantino has made it well-known that he’s planning to retire after directing his 10th feature film, and with Once Upon A Time In Hollywood—his ninth—hitting theaters this month, the talk has returned to when and how QT might conclude this chapter of his career. He’s already written a script for an R-rated Star Trek film, which he could also direct, but would that count as his 10th feature if it’s not based on an original Tarantino idea? During a recent chat with CinemaBlend, Tarantino confirmed that 10 films is 10 films, no matter what, though he conceded Star Trek might allow him a loophole of sorts:
I guess I do have a loophole, [if] the idea was to throw a loophole into it. Which would be [to go], ‘Uhhh, I guess Star Trek doesn’t count. I can do Star Trek … but naturally I would end on an original.’ But the idea of doing 10 isn’t to come up with a loophole. I actually think, if I was going to do Star Trek, I should commit to it. It’s my last movie. There should be nothing left handed about it. I don’t know if I’m going to do that, but that might happen.
There are a few things to consider here, chief of which is that it’s ultimately up to Tarantino to decide when and how to end his filmmaking career. He might retire after 10 films and come back five years later with a new idea, or he could just live out his remaining days on a nice farm surrounded by lady-feet. As Collider points out, Tarantino has already directed 10 films—unless we’re counting Kill Bill as a single entity and discounting Death Proof because it’s part of the Grindhouse double-bill (which barely makes sense; Death Proof is a feature-length film). So Tarantino himself is already splitting hairs when it comes to this “10 and done” thing, not to mention his tendency—like many of his peers—to flirt with various projects that never come to fruition (see also: Kill Bill Vol. 3 and Killer Crow).
Should Tarantino decide to direct his Star Trek script, that would certainly be an interesting way to end his filmmaking career, to say the least.