Becoming A Director Was Never On Alex Garland's Agenda

Alex Garland is tired, and I can't really blame him. Who among us isn't working a job that's close enough to what we love, but that manages to drain us to our very core? I mean, probably lots of people are just working their dream jobs and having a blast, and I've definitely felt that way, but the winds have changed and times are weird and now I'm only dreaming about turning into Jimmy Buffett and owning multiple yachts. I don't think Garland, who is the director behind "Ex Machina," "Annihilation," and most recently, "Men," feels the same way. But he's definitely feeling a way.

In an interview with the New York Times, Garland, who also wrote "The Beach" (which was adapted into the Danny Boyle film of the same name) at an impressively young age, admits that he's becoming less and less enamored with the world of directing:

"...I find myself interested in less and less things, but the things I'm interested in, I might go deeper and deeper into. And also, I'm not really a film director, I'm a writer who directs out of convenience."

Does this count as the Great Resignation?

And I'm a writer who writes because I don't actively own a yacht. For a director who has carved out such a beloved niche for himself, it's surprising to hear that Garland has never been especially interested in the job, but not unheard of. We all have those friends who are naturally good at things they don't care about, it's just that often those things aren't incredibly high profile. Still it's hard not to sympathize with someone who has let anxiety take the wheel and lead them down a buck wild career path:

"It wasn't that I had any great urge to direct, it was more born out of anxiety based on writing: I'd find it very agitating if something [in the film] felt totally wrong to me, or something that I felt was important was absent. But I have been thinking that after the film I'm directing at the moment, I should stop and go back to just writing. That might be part of the reversing away from the world — it's time to get away from it, I think. I'm not temperamentally suited to being a film director."

While I tend to enjoy Garland's work, I can't muster anything up here except a good old fashioned "good for him." If he does decide to quit directing for good, at least he can do it knowing he slid into the industry, dropped some wild movies, and then ducked right on out. Maybe that's actually the dream career timeline, after all. Don't you want to leave them wanting more?