Quentin Tarantino wants to age gracefully. The guy is famous for his knowledge of films, and that means he has also studied the career trajectory of a great many filmmakers. And there’s a trend he doesn’t want to fall into: that of the once-great master who keeps working until his last days, with diminishing returns.

The filmmaker has just six weeks to go until the opening of his new film Django Unchained, starring Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, and Leonardo Di Caprio. And he’s likely going to make the best of it, doing loads of promotion along the way. The current promo highlight is an interview in which Tarantino says that he’d be pretty happy if his primary directorial resume had ten films on it. Just for reference, Django Unchained will be his eighth, if you count the two Kill Bill films as separate entities. Is it possible we’ll see only two more films from the guy?

The interview is with Playboy, and Tarantino says,

I just don’t want to be an old-man filmmaker. I want to stop at a certain point. Directors don’t get better as they get older. Usually the worst films in their filmography are those last four at the end. I am all about my filmography, and one bad film f*cks up three good ones … When directors get out-of-date, it’s not pretty.

I’m on a journey that needs to have an end and not be about me trying to get another job. I want this artistic journey to have a climax. I want to work toward something. You stop when you stop, but in a fanciful world, 10 movies in my filmography would be nice. I’ve made seven. If I have a change of heart, if I come up with a new story, I could come back. But if I stop at 10, that would be okay as an artistic statement.

The idea of artistic climax isn’t an unusual one for him — Tarantino’s movies are very well structured to build tension and provide release. No surprise, then, to see that he thinks of his own career in the same light.

He also explains the casting process for Django, which is interesting. Good to see M.K. Williams on his list, and the idea of Chris Tucker playing the role is pretty wild. Sure, Tarantino got some of Tucker’s best acting work in Jackie Brown, but after watching Tucker’s good turn in Silver Linings Playbook, I have a difficult time seeing him as Django.

I met six different actors and had extensive meetings with all of them, and I went in-depth on all of their work,” Tarantino tells Playboy (in the issue that will be on stands Nov. 20). “Idris Elba, Chris Tucker, Terrence Howard, M.K. Williams [from HBO's Boardwalk Empire], Tyrese. They all appreciated the material, and I was going to put them through the paces, make them go off against one another and kind of put up an obstacle course. And then I met Jamie and realized I didn’t need to do that.” So what was it about Foxx that led Tarantino to cast him? “He was the cowboy… Forget the fact that he has his own horse — and that is actually his horse in the movie. He’s from Texas; he understands. …He understood what it’s like to be thought of as an ‘other.’”

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