Retirement

Spielberg Lucas Coppola

This weekend, Steven Soderbergh’s Side Effects opened to better-than-okay reviews and less-than-okay box office. With Soderbergh’s prolific output, this release would be altogether unremarkable, yet another strong if not entirely memorable entry by a director who would likely release another film six months later. However, Side Effects is notable as a quiet swan song, the proposed last theatrical film by a director who has reportedly done all he’d like to do in filmmaking. But Soderbergh is simply the latest (and on the younger side) of a group of directors that have made unofficial pronouncements towards making an exit of sorts from the business in which they made their name. George Lucas is currently in the process of overseeing the path of Star Wars’ cinematic future at Disney before officially going into retirement. This is monumental. A filmmaker known for keeping very tight reigns on his creative property is now fully embracing the potential of other directors’ and corporations’ visions toward his subject matter for film. There’s a dynamic shift here that doesn’t end with Lucas or Soderbergh either.

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Though his recent action-heavy output hasn’t really been blowing anybody’s hair back, Jackie Chan is undeniably a legend of action cinema, and there are quite a few reasons why his next release, Chinese Zodiac, should be greatly anticipated by fans of his classic work. Perhaps most importantly, this one should get your attention because Chan has spent the better part of the last decade putting the project – which he wrote, directed, and stars in – together, and he’s considering it his retirement from action movies. But, perhaps most obviously, Chinese Zodiac should be anticipated by adrenaline junkies because its the third and final time Chan is going to play his thief character, Asian Hawk, who he made famous in classic Chan joints Armour of God and Operation Condor. That’s not the end of this hard sell either. The latest trailer for the film reveals yet another reason action fans should put Chinese Zodiac on their radar. We already got one look at this film back in May, but that trailer was more concerned with detailing the beats of the plot (Asian Hawk needs to steal some statues, yada yada) and showcasing Chan’s trademarked fight scenes (which seem to still be pretty on point for a 58-year-old, but a bit more reliant on special effects than stunt work).

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With a dormant development arm, James Cameron has fully committed himself to holding his breath underwater and exploring the depths of narrative that he can mine from Pandora and the world of Avatar. A sequal and a threequel were already in the mix, but The Playlist is noting that Cameron seems more than open about an Avatar 4. It was 14 years from first draft to finished film, and its been almost 3 years since that sci-fi epic was released, so if the prospect of 3 more seems like it would take up the rest of Cameron’s sane days, it’s because they just might. The director looks to be quitting the original story game. “I’ve divided my time over the last 16 years over deep ocean exploration and filmmaking. I’ve made two movies in 16 years, and I’ve done eight expeditions. Last year I basically completely disbanded my production company’s development arm. So I’m not interested in developing anything. I’m in the Avatar business. Period. That’s it. I’m making Avatar 2, Avatar 3, maybe Avatar 4, and I’m not going to produce other people’s movies for them. I’m not interested in taking scripts,” said Cameron.

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Remember back when Steven Soderbergh was going to retire? Yeah, that doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen. Recently the director was all set to make a big screen adaptation of the old TV show The Man From U.N.C.L.E., which was going to be one of his last movies ever; but once casting and budget problems got too out of hand on that project, the director decided to drop it and move on with his life. That sounds like a pretty obvious decision for a man who has said repeatedly in interviews that he’s over the whole filmmaking thing and wants to move on. Why tear your hair out dealing with a movie that just isn’t coming together? But, in comparison, the newest move the director has made makes less sense, given the context of his recent comments. According to THR he has signed on for a new project called The Bitter Pill. This new film will see Soderbergh re-teaming with his The Informant! and Contagion writer Scott Z. Burns, and is said to be a thriller set in the world of psychopharmacology. Little else is known about the project, however.

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When Tara Brown, a journalist for 60 Minutes in Australia, asked Brad Pitt how much longer he was going to be acting, he answered flatly, “Three years.” She repeated for confirmation, he confirmed, and when she asked him what he’d do after his acting career was over, he said, “Hell if I know. Hell if I know. I am really enjoying the producing side and development of stories and putting those pieces together. And getting stories to the plate that might have had a tougher time otherwise, so…You know, I have gotten away with a few things in writing and I have been pissed off about a few things. How’s that?” Exclusively producing might not be a bad spot for the veteran, but retiring at 50? It seems like he wants to avoid his twilight years in front of the camera. Maybe he’s tired of it all, maybe he doesn’t want his legacy to shift the way Kirk Douglas’s (and so many others’) did, but no matter the reason, it appears as though getting Brad Pitt to star in your movie might be a limited time offer. Of course, that’s also what Viggo Mortenson said. About 20 times. Three years is a long time to change one’s mind, and announcements like this are all too common. We’re looking at you, Michael Jordan. For now, Pitt will be seen in the forthcoming Cogan’s Trade, World War Z, Voyage of Time, and Twelve Years a Slave. Will they be his last movies […]

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In a recent interview with Kurt Anderson, director Steven Soderbergh has announced that he will retire from making movies after his next two films. This isn’t the first time that he has hinted about wrapping up his career in Hollywood, but the man seems pretty well decided at this point. When explaining why he doesn’t want to make movies anymore, Soderbergh said, “It’s just a sense of having been there before. The making of any art is problem solving, and as you work at it, you’re able to eliminate the versions that aren’t any good faster, but at a certain point the salves sort of become the same. And when I started feeling like I’ve done this shot before, I’ve done a scene that’s about this before, that’s when I started thinking seriously about a shift.” I guess he just couldn’t come up with a scenario for another big heist. In all seriousness, Soderbergh is an important director and this will be a blow to movies in general. He did a lot to kick off the independent film movement of the 90s with his 1989 release of Sex, Lies, and Videotape. That film’s success worked as a model for how things that were low budget but interesting could gain an audience and make a lot of money.

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ViggoMortensen

The veteran actor is deciding to call it quits…for now. What does that mean for The Hobbit? Nobody knows, so there aren’t any answers inside or anything.

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Uwe Boll

When our friends at Slashfilm posted the story about legendarily-bad director Uwe Boll quitting the film industry for good if a petition garnered one million signatures, I found myself foolishly hopeful for about five minutes. Then I realized that there was no way it was going to work.

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published: 12.18.2014
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published: 12.17.2014
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published: 12.15.2014
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published: 12.12.2014
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