Quentin Tarantino has rarely put a foot wrong since beginning his career as an independent filmmaker with Reservoir Dogs almost 30 years ago. Whether writing, acting, producing or directing, Quentin Tarantino has been the recipient of numerous awards and soaring box office, with his last four movies in the director’s chair taking over $1 billion between them, it’s safe to say that his place in Hollywood history is already secured. So as he heads towards what he has said will be the last movie he will direct, why is one of the all-time greats of the industry approaching it with a certain sense of trepidation?
In a new interview, Tarantino spoke to Elric Kane and Brian Saur on their Pure Cinema Podcast and explained why he is being careful about choosing his final movie. “Most directors have horrible last movies,” 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.”
In truth, history does tell a quite depressing story when it comes to not only the directors, but the last films of some of the greatest actors and movie series’ that have all fallen fowl of the dreaded deadweight pulling down an otherwise well-loved and critically praised catalogue of success. Gene Hackman (Welcome To Mooseport), John Candy (Canadian Bacon – which took the dubious honor away from his much cited final role in Wagons East! which actually came out a year earlier) and Bob Hoskins (Snow White And The Huntsman) are only a few whose final roles left behind a small stain on their careers.
While it could be argued that Tarantino is so finicky about his films, that it would take a really wild swing for him to miss the mark on his final outing before heading into self-imposed retirement, he sees it as such a real possibility that he has even considered simply not making another film. “So to actually end your career on a decent movie is rare. To end it with, like, a good movie is kind of phenomenal,” he continued. “I mean, most directors’ last films are f*cking lousy…maybe I should not make another movie because I could be really happy with dropping the mic.”
I’m sure there are many who would be disappointed if the director did decide enough was enough, which would see Once Upon a Time in Hollywood become his last movie. Despite some controversy over certain character depictions, the near three hour comedy drama, with its ensemble cast including Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Margot Robbie, gained a solid 85% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, was nominated for Palme d’Or at Cannes, 10 Academy Awards and 5 Golden Globes, of which it won three including Best Screenplay for Tarantino and Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. There could certainly be worse movies to end a career on.
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