The Hateful Eight, Quentin Tarantino's forthcoming Western, has been in the news more than most films that haven't even started shooting. (The cameras are set to roll in the Colorado Rockies next winter.) In January, the script leaked, leading the pissed-off director to declare the project dead. Then it was back on with an April public reading. Now, as of the this week, more details have emerged, including Tarantino's desire to film—and, crucially, release—in epic 70mm, a luxurious format currently on display with Interstellar. He's also filled out the cast, which includes the previously announced Bruce Dern and Tim Roth, but now, centrally, Jennifer Jason Leigh, a bit of cosmic rightness that could lead to her finally winning the awards she's always missed by millimeters.
But among all the movie-related news, one bit of Tarantino confession has leapt to the fore, namely his intention to give up filmmaking—and soon. "I want to go out hard," the director recently told Deadline's Mike Fleming in a moderated conversation with Hateful Eight cast members. "I like that I will leave a 10-film filmography, and so I’ve got two more to go after this." (Kurt Russell, onstage with him, is reported to have asked the crowd, "You don't actually believe that shit, do you?") It wouldn't be the first time Tarantino has expressed his conviction that directing is a young man's game. As early as 2009, he told British press that he wouldn't make "four limp-dick, old-man movies" at the end of his filmography and potentially "cheapen" it; he repeated himself to Playboy in 2012. If Tarantino is true to his word, let's hope it's the kind of retirement that Steven Soderbergh has been enjoying since 2011, not counting several superb movies and TV's The Knick since.