Why Quentin Tarantino Only Wants To Make 10 Movies (Will He Really Stop?)
Quentin Tarantino insists that he will only make 10 movies and then retire, but why did he make that decision? Let’s take a look.
Quentin Tarantino has famously said that he plans on retiring after making his 10th movie, but why did he decide that and will he really stop after that? Quentin Tarantino has become one of the most respected filmmakers in the industry thanks to his peculiar narrative and visual style as well as his generous doses of violence, which are generally justified and part of the overall stories he likes to tell.
Tarantino’s career as a filmmaker began in 1992 with the crime movie Reservoir Dogs, which introduced the audience to his writing style and the type of characters that would lead his future movies. While Reservoir Dogs was praised by critics and viewers and is considered a classic of independent film, his big break arrived two years later with Pulp Fiction, also a crime movie but told in a non-linear narrative. Since then, Tarantino has explored different genres, such as martial arts with the Kill Bill movies, western with Django Unchained, and has even told alternate versions of history with Inglourious Basterds and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, but always with the promise of not making more than 10 movies.
The promise of stopping making movies after he reaches his tenth project is not new, so much that it’s brought up every time he announces and promotes a new movie. Because of this, the “10 movies” plan has been put into question many times and has even been labeled as a marketing ploy to draw attention and create anticipation for his future projects. While it has certainly helped attract more attention, Tarantino – as eccentric as he is – has already shared his reasons to stop making movies once he reaches his tenth, and it’s all about legacy. Tarantino hasn’t been shy about what he wants his legacy in the film industry to be, and as the film buff he is, he has taken many filmmakers as examples of what he doesn’t want his career to be like. To him, a director’s quality gets worse with time, so he wants to retire while he’s still on top, and 10 movies seems like the perfect number for that. Speaking to Pure Cinema Podcast (via MovieMaker), Tarantino expanded on this saying that “most directors have horrible last movies” and ending your career “on a decent movie is rare”, but to end it with “a good movie is kind of phenomenal”.
Taking into account what he had just said, Tarantino even joked that he should end his career with Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, that way he would make sure that his final movie was a big hit, but he surely has more ideas to share. It’s worth noting, however, that Tarantino’s 10th and final project could have been a Star Trek movie, marking his second movie that wasn’t a full creation of his (the first one being Jackie Brown, based on the 1992 novel Rum Punch and hence the only Tarantino movie that lives in its own universe). Although he pitched an idea for it and was on board to write and direct, many obstacles got in the way, such as the underperformance of Star Trek Beyond and Tarantino’s own projects, and he’s no longer involved in it – and even if the project had moved forward, it’s highly unlikely that a Star Trek movie would have been his 10th and final movie, and he would have found an excuse to not count it as part of the bunch.
By making 10 movies, Tarantino also wants to create a 10-film canon consistent in quality that people can debate over for years to come. All Tarantino movies are confirmed to be part of the same universe, which is divided into two levels: the “realer than real” world and the “movie-in-a-movie” world. With that in mind, a connected movie universe consisting of 10 movies sounds like an interesting plan, more so as Tarantino has met his goal of making movies that have been very well-received by critics and audiences so far as they have all kept a similar level of quality (except Death Proof, widely regarded as his weakest movie). However, it’s important to remember that Tarantino has technically already made 10 movies, but he chooses to count both Kill Bill movies as one.
Of course, nothing is set in stone and he could change his mind if there’s a story he really wants to tell after his tenth movie is done and that fits his already established universe – and in case he does keep his promise of making only 10 movies, Tarantino doesn’t rule out a comeback at some point. Speaking to Vanity Fair in 2016, he shared that if he had a new and different story to tell, it would exist as its own and not as part of his “10-movie canon,” as to not “contaminate” them. With Once Upon A Time In Hollywood being his ninth movie, this means Quentin Tarantino still has room for one more movie, though it might take a while for him to decide what it will be about.