Speaking at San Diego’s Creativity Conference yesterday, Quentin Tarantino reaffirmed his longstanding claim that he will retire after his tenth film. Variety quoted the director as saying, “Drop the mic. Boom. Tell everybody, ‘Match that shit!’” For those keeping score at home, Tarantino has directed eight feature films thus far—Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill, Death Proof, Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained, and last year’s The Hateful Eight. For Tarantino’s purposes, Kill Bill counts as one film, despite being released as two; Death Proof counts as one despite being part of Grindhouse’s double-feature; and the director’s segment of Four Rooms counts not at all, which few critics or fans would dispute.
Tarantino talked about his enjoyment of the filmmaking process, and the benefits of both writing and directing material, saying, “There’s this incredible satisfaction for me to think back, to usually only two years [earlier]… to think there was a moment in time where me and a pen were sitting at a table in front of a blank piece of paper.” He also defined success as, “when I’m finished with the career, and I’m considered one of the greatest filmmakers who ever lived.” Neither of those quotes seem to square with his desire to quit after just two more films, but perhaps he learned from Pulp Fiction to go out on a high note. Or we can look forward to a Soderberghian retirement spent producing and directing movies.
At any rate, the director has hinted at what those last two films might be about. In previous interviews, Tarantino has mentioned a 1930s Australian gangster movie, because as Django Unchained proved, if there’s one thing Quentin Tarantino knows, it’s Australian accents. He’s also made vague reference to a project set in 1970, although the storyline is anyone’s guess. But given the propensity for Tarantino to throw out offhand movie ideas that never come to fruition (Kill Bill 3, the Vega brothers), his next two films could be about anything at all.