Why is Quentin Tarantino retiring?

The Pulp Fiction director has long maintained he will only make 10 films

In this photo taken Friday, May 22, 2009, American director Quentin Tarantino poses for photographs at a hotel, during the 62nd International film festival in Cannes, southern France. Billed at the outset as a smackdown between big-name auteurs such as Quentin Tarantino, Ang Lee and Lars von Trier, the Cannes Film Festival neared its end with lesser-known filmmakers among the favorites to win the Palme d'Or, the event's top prize. Cannes prizes will be announced Sunday, May 23, 2009. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan)
American director Quentin Tarantino in 2009. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan)

Quentin Tarantino has long insisted that he would retire from filmmaking after his tenth film or when he turned 60.

After three decades behind the camera, the Pulp Fiction director, 61, was expected to bow out with a long-teased feature called The Movie Critic.

But the long-teased film was scrapped in April 2024, before any filming had begun, after he apparently changed his mind on what his final movie should be.

Here is everything we know about his apparent retirement.

What has Quentin Tarantino said about retiring?

Quentin Tarantino with the cast of Pulp Fiction
Tarantino with the cast of his second film, Pulp Fiction. (Getty Images)

Tarantino first hinted at seeing the end during a 2012 interview with Playboy where he said: "I want to stop at a certain point.

"Directors don't get better as they get older. Usually the worst films in their filmography are those last four at the end. I am all about my filmography, and one bad film f**** up three good ones.

"I don't want that bad, out-of-touch comedy in my filmography, the movie that makes people think, 'Oh man, he still thinks it's 20 years ago.' When directors get out-of-date, it's not pretty.”

However in 2015, talking to Yahoo, he said his plan was not yet fixed in stone.

"Yeah, that's the idea [to retire after 10 movies], I could always change it," he said while promoting The Hateful Eight.

"But I like the idea frankly, to tell you the truth. I mean, look, ten movies for me is at the soonest six years and the latest eight years. And by the way, if film goes the way of the dodo bird, I might not even make ten."

Quentin Tarantino and Brad Pitt on the set of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
His most recent film was Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. (Sony)

In recent years, Tarantino has expanded into other areas including writing a novelisation of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, his first book of film criticism Cinema Speculation, and in 2022 he started a podcast with fellow director Roger Avary where they discuss cult films.

The director has also expressed interest in writing further books and creating a TV spin-off of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

During an interview with CNN in 2021, Tarantino reiterated that he didn't want to become out of touch: "I've been doing it for a long time.

"I've been doing it for 30 years, and it's time to wrap up the show. Like I said I'm an entertainer. I want to leave you wanting more you know, and not just work and I don't want to work to diminishing returns.

"I don't want to become this old man who’s out of touch, when already I'm feeling a bit like an old man out of touch when it comes to the current movies that are out right now. And that’s what happens."

Julie Dreyfus and Quentin Tarantino on the set of Kill Bill Vol. 1.
The director has hinted at moving into TV after quitting the film industry. (Miramax)

Tarantino also extensively discussed his future during an appearance on the Pure Cinema Podcast.

He said: "Usually their worst movies are their last movies. That's the case for most of the Golden Age directors that ended up making their last movies in the late '60s and the '70s, then that ended up being the case for most of the New Hollywood directors who made their last movies in the late '80s and the '90s."

Tarantino also teased that he wouldn't make any more movies after Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was such a success: "Maybe I should not make another movie because I could be really happy with dropping the mic.

"That's the frustrating part… a lot of the really terrific directors, it's like their third-to-the-last movie would have been an amazing, amazing one to end on, which goes back to what I was saying about myself.

Uma Thurman and Quentin Tarantino on the set of Kill Bill Vol. 1.
Uma Thurman and Tarantino on the set of Kill Bill Vol. 1. (Miramax)

"Or you know, if Don Siegel had stopped with Escape from Alcatraz, oh my f****** god. What a career…he really said it all. The other two were just jobs."

Whilst at Cannes Film Festival 2023, Tarantino seemingly doubled down on his determination to quit making movies after his tenth film.

"I am ending the filmography," he told Deadline. That said, he did offer a bit of wiggle-room.

"I could do a TV show. I didn’t say I’m going to go into the night darkly, all right? I could do a TV show. I could do a short film. I could do a play. All kinds of things I could do, but I’ll probably just be more of a writer."

Quentin Tarantino's official filmography so far

  1. Reservoir Dogs (1992)

  2. Pulp Fiction (1994)

  3. Jackie Brown (1997)

  4. Kill Bill Vol 1&2 (2003/2004)

  5. Death Proof (2007)

  6. Inglourious Basterds (2009)

  7. Django Unchained (2012)

  8. The Hateful Eight (2015)

  9. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (2019)