Tarantino 10

Quentin Tarantino is undeniably one of the most distinctive and influential filmmakers of our time. With his unique blend of genre-bending storytelling, razor-sharp dialogue, and unapologetic style, Tarantino has carved out a niche for himself in the world of cinema that is entirely his own. However, perhaps equally as intriguing as his films themselves is his decision to limit his directorial career to just ten movies.

Tarantino has been vocal about his intention to retire from filmmaking after completing his tenth feature film. This decision has sparked curiosity and speculation among fans and critics alike. Why would a filmmaker at the peak of his career choose to impose such a strict limit on his output?

One possible explanation for Tarantino’s self-imposed ten-movie limit is the desire for artistic control and legacy preservation. By setting a finite number of films for himself, Tarantino ensures that each project receives his full attention and creative energy. This approach allows him to maintain the high standard of quality that has become synonymous with his name and to leave behind a compact, cohesive body of work that reflects his vision as a filmmaker.

Another factor influencing Tarantino’s decision may be a desire to avoid creative stagnation. By placing a cap on the number of films he will make, Tarantino forces himself to continually push the boundaries of his own creativity and explore new artistic territories. This self-imposed challenge encourages him to take risks and experiment with different styles and genres, keeping his work fresh and innovative.

Furthermore, the ten-movie limit may serve as a form of self-preservation for Tarantino. The demanding nature of the filmmaking process, coupled with the intense scrutiny and pressure that comes with being a high-profile director, can take a toll on even the most seasoned filmmakers. By setting a finite endpoint for his directorial career, Tarantino can avoid burning out and ensure that he leaves the industry on his own terms.

The Wonderful Nine

According to Tarantino, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” marks his ninth movie, indicating there’s one more to make before he retires. However, this statement seems contradictory, as he’s already directed 10 full-length feature films. Tarantino’s filmography includes “Reservoir Dogs” (1992), which stuck to the hard-boiled crime caper, “Pulp Fiction” (1994), another neo-noir crime film, “Jackie Brown” (1997), his homage to blaxploitation movies, “Kill Bill” (2003/2004), a Kung Fu martial arts opus, “Death Proof” (2007) an unapologetic grindhouse film, “Inglorious Bastards” (2009), a war movie featuring the first use of Tarantino’s revisionist plot device, that kinda didn’t work, “Django Unchained” (2012), a western that attempted to be all westerns at once, “The Hateful Eight” (2015), another western trying to be a John Carpenter film, and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” (2019) that reused the revisionist plot device somewhat successfully.

Tarantino regards ‘Kill Bill’ as a single entity, implying that a potential ‘Kill Bill: Volume 3’ could be part of it, although the original saga was released in two distinct parts: ‘Kill Bill: Volume 1’ and its sequel, ‘Kill Bill: Volume 2’. Considering “Kill Bill” as one films, there is only one more film left to direct.

But, what should that final film be?

The Elusive Ten

Here is a list of Tarantino’s unproduced projects that have been on the cards for the last few decades, that could possibly resurface as his final movie outing as a director. Having already covered and mastered genres of most pulpy exploitation films, such as crime, western, martial arts, and neo-noir, the only genres he has yet to cover are horror and science fiction.

Over the years there are dozens of projects that have been left on the back burner, but here are the ten that seem close to what we may get or already ended up with.

  • Spy Thriller – Briefly attached to a film adaptation of the 1960s TV series The Man from U.N.C.L.E.. and later expressed interest in directing Casino Royale. So, a gritty espionage caper in the vein of Len Deighton’s Berlin Game, Mexico Set and London Match could be on the cards.
  • Disaster Epic – Taking inspiration from popular ’70s genre films like The Towering Inferno, The Poseidon Adventure, and Airport.
  • Kung Fu – A classic Bruce Lee-style martial art movie in Mandarin with subtitles and releasing it with dubbed cut. But this is well-trodden Kill Bill territory.
  • Sgt. Rock – this comic book adaptation was offered for him to direct, but this evolved into Inglorious Bastards. We can cross the Dirty Dozen, Kelly’s Heroes World War Two action flick off the list.
  • Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! – became Death Proof.
  • Killer Crow – depicting a rogue group of World War II-era black troops – again Inglorious Bastards.
  • First Blood – an adaptation of the David Morrel novel First Blood.
  • Snake Belly – a Spaghetti Western comedy, aka the Terence Hill and Bud Spencer movie, but Django Unchained went this way.
  • The Movie Critic – a film, meant to be set in the 70’s that ended up being a sequel to Once Apon A Time In Hollywood.
  • A horror/science fiction film – Tarantino hinted at a project, which blended the classics The Thing, Halloween, Stalker and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, into a kind of “slasher sci-fi horror”. With a hard-core Star Trek spec script that came later, his interest in this genre is evident and logical considering that half the movies in the video store at the time were B-grade sci-fi horror knock-offs of these same classics.

The Final Masterpiece of Genre

If Tarantino intends to round out his ten-film oeuvre with a diverse array of genres, his choices get narrowed down to two options: a Spy Thriller or a Slasher Sci-fi Horror. The former would suit his style like a glove, resurrecting the essence of Jean-Paul Belmono’s The Magnificent [1973] or The Man from Rio [1964], encompassing car chase sequences, and stunt work, both of which are non-existent in Tarantino’s movies. The latter, however, appears to diverge further from his typical style, as none of his previous works have embraced the grandiose budgets, elaborate special effects, or fantastical themes inherent in this genre.

It is possible he might opt for a simpler horror narrative infused with sci-fi elements, cautious not to jeopardize his reputation with a risky cinematic spectacle. On the other hand, he might succumb to greed, integrating espionage elements into his Slasher Sci-fi Horror project, immersing himself in the world of special effects, particularly practical effects reminiscent of 1980s FX artists, and leveraging the goodwill studios are likely to extend towards him.

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