How many more movies has Quentin Tarantino got left in him? The provocative and controversial director this week unleashes Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, his ninth movie – that is, if you count Kill Bill 1 and 2 as separate films. (For the record, Tarantino doesn't.) And, if rumour is to be believed, he's going to be stopping at 10.
During a Russian press tour for his latest offering, Tarantino said his final movie will be "epilogue-y". He also suggested, intriguingly, a project that would act as a conclusion to all his previous films: "If you think about the idea of all the movies telling one story and each film is like a train boxcar connected to each other, this one would sort of be the big show-stopping climax of it all."
Rumours of Tarantino's retirement come hot on the heels of an earlier interview with Australian GQ, in which he stated: "I think when it comes to theatrical movies, I’ve come to the end of the road."
In the same interview, he added: "I see myself writing film books and starting to write theatre, so I’ll still be creative. I just think I’ve given all I have to give to movies."
Rumours are now flying as to what Tarantino's final film will be. He's long been attached to a Star Trek project, which he's described as "Pulp Fiction in space". It remains to be seen if distributor Paramount will greenlight such a venture, although actor Karl Urban, who portrays Bones in the rebooted series, says the studio would be "insane" not to do it.
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There are even suggestions that Tarantino's swan-song could be a horror movie. Vampire thriller Dusk Till Dawn, released in 1996, is his sole venture into the genre, although he only wrote the screenplay and co-starred alongside George Clooney (it was directed by Robert Rodriguez). That said, other solo Tarantino movies have embraced conventions of horror films – take Kurt Russell's car-driving serial killer in Death Proof (2007) as an example.
"If I come up with a terrific horror film story," Tarantino said at an international press conference, via The Independent. "I will do that as my tenth movie. I love horror movies. I would love to do a horror film."
On the other hand, is the joke on us? It would be a very Tarantino-esque move to suddenly pull the rug out and make Once Upon a Time in Hollywood his final effort. Again talking to Australian GQ, Tarantino said of his newest film: "If it’s really well received, maybe I won’t go to 10.. Maybe I’ll stop right now! Maybe I’ll stop while I’m ahead. We’ll see."
Say it isn't so – in the USA, Hollywood opened to Quentin Tarantino's best-ever box office weekend, so by his logic, it may well be his final movie.
All the more reason to savour the Tarantino goodness while it lasts – click here to book your tickets for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, opening in Cineworld on 14th August. Don't forget to tweet us your favourite Tarantino films @Cineworld.