Martin Scorsese doesn’t get Quentin Tarantino’s plan to retire: ‘I’m curious about everything still’

Separate headshots of Martin Scorsese in a black blazer and blue tie and Quentin Tarantino in a black suit
Martin Scorsese, left, is sharing his thoughts on Quentin Tarantino’s impending retirement.
(Vianney Le Caer / Invision / Associated Press)
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It’s officially confirmed: Martin Scorsese is just built different, bro.

The “Killers of the Flower Moon” director weighed in on how he can’t really speak on another director’s trajectory when asked about Quentin Tarantino’s stated intention to retire from filmmaking after the conclusion of his 10th film.

“[Tarantino’s] a writer ... it’s a different thing,” Scorsese told the Associated Press. “I come up with stories, I get attracted to stories through other people — all different means, different ways. And so I think it’s a different process ... I respect writers and I wish I could just be in a room and create these novels. Not films, novels.”

He added: “I’m curious about everything still. That’s one of the things. If I’m curious about something I think I’ll find a way. If I hold out and hold up, I’ll find a way to try to make something of it on film, but I have to be curious about the subject. My curiosity is still there. I couldn’t speak for Quentin Tarantino or others who are able to create this work in their world.”


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In explaining that he couldn’t relate to Tarantino’s inclination to abandon filmmaking, the 80-year-old movie legend was asked by the interviewer if he was “just built differently.” Scorsese responded, “I am.”

While not identifying as a writer, Scorsese has screenwriting credits on seven of the movies he’s directed, including “Goodfellas,” “Casino,” Mean Streets,” “Silence” and his latest film, “Killers of the Flower Moon.”

The Oscar winner also revealed that he’s only just this year begun to read emails.

“[E]mails, they scare me,” he said. “It says ‘CC’ and there are a thousand names. Who are these people? ... Is this a personal email? What does that mean? And then what really gets me in the email, the system, is that you don’t know where you’re supposed to, how you’re supposed to respond. There’s all these hieroglyphics all over it, so I don’t know where to read.”

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He presented an option, however. “[T]exting, to me, is possibly a little easier. At least it’s more specific.”

Scorsese isn’t the only director who has commented on Tarantino’s 10-film plan, which is rearing its head as the “Pulp Fiction” director is in production on his 10th film, “The Movie Critic.”

In July, “Oppenheimer” director Christopher Nolan was asked if he believed that Tarantino would follow through on his plan.


“It’s addictive to tell stories in cinema. It’s a lot of hard work, but it’s very fun. It’s something you feel driven to do, and so it’s a little hard to imagine voluntarily stopping,” Nolan told the “ReelBlend” podcast.

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“But I also see … Quentin’s point has always been that — and he never, very graciously, he’s never specific about the films he’s talking about or whatever,” he continued. “But he’s looking at some of the work done by filmmakers in later years and feeling that if it can’t live up to the heyday, it would be better if it didn’t exist. And I think that’s a very purist point of view.”

Nolan conceded that he “understands” Tarantino’s point, but that he personally doesn’t “want to take anything off the table” when it comes to future opportunities.

“Licorice Pizza” filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson spoke about Tarantino’s decision in a more incredulous manner during a 2018 film discussion of “Phantom Thread.”

“I know Quentin likes to say, ‘I’m making 10 movies and then I’m quitting.’ But I could never do that. I don’t know how he could say that, or how he could take himself seriously when he says that,” Anderson said. “This is what I want to do as long as I’m able to do it. As long as I’m able to do it, I’m going to do it. 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.”