Quentin Tarantino has regularly made the bold claim that he will retire from directing movies after releasing his tenth film – which will be the next one after this summer’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
Exactly why is unclear, but fellow filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson has an idea: “I think things can become peculiar when directors don’t act their age, maybe, or seeing them try to keep up with the kids or trying to be hip. That’s never a good look.” Whatever it is, Tarantino seems committed to retiring after ten movies. So, here are 10 Possibilities For Quentin Tarantino’s Tenth And Final Film.
10 Killer Crow
Tarantino has often talked about his movie Killer Crow, which he’s written a lot of material for but never gotten off the ground. It’s another World War II revenge tale, this time revolving around black soldiers as opposed to Jewish soldiers, based on a subplot he removed from Inglourious Basterds.
Tarantino explained, “The huge stuff that I took out could make its own movie, following a platoon of black troops that were court-martialed and they escape. They are in France, they are going to be hung in London and their whole thing is to get to Switzerland. And they end up getting into an adventure and they meet the Basterds...I could still do that. I’m not done with it.” Maybe it’s time this one finally got made, otherwise it never will.
9 An R-rated Star Trek movie
A couple of years ago, a Tarantino-helmed Star Trek movie with an R rating tagged to it quickly entered development. Within days, it was pitched to J.J. Abrams, greenlit by Paramount, and midway through pre-production. It’s unclear yet whether Tarantino will direct the project.
We do know that he’ll resume development on it as soon as Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is out of the way. The Revenant writer Mark L. Smith is working on the script and Tarantino has always written his own movies, so there’s a good chance he won’t direct this one and will instead just produce or executive-produce.
8 Another western
It’s no secret that the western is Tarantino’s favorite film genre. The influence of the western – specifically, the spaghetti western – can be seen in all of his movies (their signature style can be summed up as: a World War II movie made as a spaghetti western, a kung fu movie made as a spaghetti western etc.).
However, only two of them are actually full-blown westerns. Both of them have challenged the conventions of a certain era of the western, but there’s a lot of the history of Tarantino’s favorite genre that he hasn’t yet explored. So, a third western could be in order.
7 Kill Bill Vol. 3
Tarantino has been hinting at expanding the Kill Bill story for years, but production has never begun. At one point, he said he’d hold off on Kill Bill Vol. 3 for a few years to give the Bride and B.B. some much-needed peace and tranquility for a while in their lives.
The sequel would reportedly revolve around a Bride-trained B.B. taking on the daughters of her mother’s victims (like the daughter of Vivica A. Fox’s character, who was a child when the Bride came to kill her mom in Vol. 1) as they seek vengeance for their own mothers’ losses. However, since the car crash scandal where it was revealed Uma Thurman was injured on set due to negligence, there probably won’t be another Kill Bill movie.
6 A John Brown biopic
Tarantino famously hates biopics, because he says they’re just an excuse for actors to win Oscars, but there is one person whose life story he’s always wanted to turn into a film: John Brown. The director called Brown his “favorite American.”
He was an abolitionist who believed that the only way to abolish slavery was to go to the plantations, guns blazing, in order to send a message. Tarantino explained, “His idea, was the minute white blood is shed the way black blood is shed, that’s when s**t will start changing. And like all great Americans, he was hung for treason.”
5 A 1930s-era gangster movie
Tarantino has generally tackled a different genre with each of his movies: the heist movie, the blaxploitation movie, the WWII epic etc. Like the MCU, they all have his trademark visual flair and poetic dialogue, as well as connecting themes and subject matter, but they all fall under different genre constructs. Even his two westerns adhere to two different subgenres of the western.
One genre he’s never tackled, and it’s one of the most important and influential in film history, is the film noir. He’s mentioned before that he’d be interested in doing a 1930s-era gangster movie. It would bring his career full-circle to do a non-linear crime story that homages an old genre with a big budget, combining the best parts of every chapter of his career.
4 Forty Lashes Less One
For years, Tarantino has been talking about adapting Elmore Leonard’s novel Forty Lashes Less One for the screen. He usually writes his own original screenplays, but the only other time he’s adapted source material, Jackie Brown, was also based on an Elmore Leonard novel. A couple of years, he mentioned it again, so it’s clearly still on his mind: “I own the rights to this book [I’ve] wanted to adapt for a while, and the time may have come for me to tackle [it]. This is Forty Lashes Less One, [written by] Elmore Leonard...which could be my third western. [I’m] considering [taking the] project to TV, in the form of a miniseries of four or six hours.”
If it’s a TV miniseries, it might not count towards the director’s ten films, and since he just turned The Hateful Eight into a miniseries for Netflix, he might’ve gotten a taste for that kind of storytelling and do this miniseries between his ninth and tenth films instead of as his tenth film.
3 The final film in his “revisionist history” trilogy
Great directors often to loosely connected trilogies of films. They’re not connected by narrative or shared characters, but by theme or subject matter. They’re called “thematic trilogies.” Fellini had a “Trilogy of Loneliness,” Oliver Stone has a “Vietnam War Trilogy,” and Edgar Wright has the “Three Flavors Cornetto Trilogy.”
Quentin Tarantino’s thematic trilogy is his “revisionist history” trilogy; the movies that let the historically oppressed revolt against their oppressors in a revenge fantasy narrative. Jewish soldiers kill Hitler in Inglourious Basterds, while a black slave slays dozens of white slavers in the antebellum-era Deep South in Django Unchained. The trilogy only has those two movies. It needs the third.
2 A horror film
Tarantino has said before that he “would love to make a really, really scary horror film, like The Exorcist.” However, he was reluctant to dive into a genre that requires every scene to be tense and allows no opportunity for humor, one of the hallmarks of any Tarantino film, and cast doubt on the possibility of making a horror movie: “I don’t know if me taking my sense of humor and putting it in the backseat just to hit a tone of dread from beginning to end is the best use of my talents or my time.”
However, Jordan Peele’s movies have proven you can have humor without sacrificing dread, and there’s a good chance Tarantino will want to make a bold move like this for his final film.
1 Double V Vega
Tarantino has been building a cinematic universe since long before Tony Stark was recruited by Nick Fury to join the “Avengers Initiative.” All of his movies are linked by fictional brands, alternative history, and characters who are related. The director’s final film needs to be the Avengers: Endgame of the Tarantino-verse, pulling together everything that’s been established in it and paying it off.
Now, no one’s suggesting that Tarantino should do a movie that’s all fan service and callbacks – that’s not his style – but maybe he could finally get that movie about the Vega brothers off the ground to at least pull Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction together. Sure, John Travolta and Michael Madsen are now 25 years older than when their characters died, but the audience will forgive that – that’s the magic of the movies.