Director Quentin Tarantino has been saying for years now that he only wants to make 10 films total.
And as anxious Tarantino fans noted at the time, 2015’s Hateful Eight brings the count up to, well, eight. (Assuming you count both Kill Bill volumes as one masterpiece.) So, does the hyper-verbal, über-violent auteur really only have two more movies to go? According to more recent comments from the director, the answer is both yes and no.
“I’m planning on stopping at 10. So it’ll be two more,” Tarantino said from the stage of the Jerusalem Film Festival Tuesday. That sounds definitive enough—but the director then went on to blur the message a little. “Even if at 75, if I have this other story to tell, it would still kind of work because that would make those 10. They would be there, and that would be that. But the one he did when he was an old fucking man”—“he’ being Tarantino’s hypothetical future self—“that geriatric one exists completely on its own in the old folks home and is never put in the same shelf next to the other 10. So it doesn’t contaminate the other 10.”
So if we’re understanding this correctly, Tarantino intends for these 10 films—starting with Reservoir Dogs and ending two movies from now—to be the definitive Tarantino Collection, whether or not he decides, 22 years from now, to try his hand at filmmaking again. For a lot of directors, that argument would make no sense—but there is a sliver of logic when it comes to Tarantino. His films—be they westerns, heists, or otherwise—are unmistakably and stylishly his. If, years from now, he were to depart dramatically from the tone and hallmarks that made him so popular, it’s possible those future movies could be considered something else entirely. Sort of.
But the real question of this blurry 10-movie plan is the increasingly popular theory that Tarantino makes movies in informal sets of threes. Those groupings would go, chronologically, 1) Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown 2) Kill Bill: Volume 1, Kill Bill: Volume 2, Death Proof and 3) Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained, The Hateful Eight. That’s the heist trilogy, the female-driven revenge trilogy, and the period-piece trilogy. Tarantino himself claims this wasn’t intentional, but agrees that the theory is “really interesting“ and “held more water the more I thought about it.”