Last year, when The Hateful Eight was still in pre-production, Quentin Tarantino proclaimed that he would retire after his tenth feature film. Tarantino reiterated this when he sat down for the Hollywood Reporters’ director roundtable, held back in November and published today, weeks away from the release of his eighth feature film. But there happened to be a key addition to Tarantino’s statement about his future — which included an interest in directing theater.
The roundtable included other directors with films released in 2015 that are receiving similar award season traction, including Ridley Scott (The Martian), David O’Russell (Joy), Tom Hooper (The Danish Girl), Danny Boyle (Steve Jobs), and Alejandro González Iñárritu (The Revenant). A reoccurring theme in their discussion is their role in film’s changing industry, whether it be studios backing (or not) film budgets; the medium’s form and consumption (i.e., you don’t necessarily need to rush out to the movie theater to see certain films anymore); and exhaustion stemming from age, inspiration, or both.
And Tarantino may very well turn to directing theater — particularly to directing a production of The Hateful Eight. His idea to make the film into a play stemmed from the table reading of the film’s script prior to filming:
I wouldn’t be so confident with thinking about exhibition [the movie will have a road-show rollout in 70mm projection] if I wasn’t confident with the material. And the script-reading really went a long way, as far as that’s concerned. Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained, you can read almost as a piece of literature, but I still had to figure them out [before shooting]. It’s not for sure that I’m going to pull them off. There is a “finding it” in the course of making it. But with Hateful Eight, it was right there. I mean, if I had those actors and we did it in a little theatre on Santa Monica Boulevard, 99 seats, it would kill, it would be terrific. I’m not saying the movie is great; I’m just saying that I like the material, so I had a confidence in it.
Tarantino isn’t putting all his eggs into the theater basket — he also says has aspirations to write novels. And ultimately, he wants to wait until all the noise for The Hateful Eight dies down before deciding on what’s next. “I’ve got to see how I feel when Hateful Eight is over, if I still have the same juice for it,” he says. “I like the idea of other actors having a chance to play my characters. So that’s where I’m at. I’m working my way into that time period, where I write novels and film pieces and film books, but in particular direct theater.”