Alex Garland reaffirms his intention to retire from directing

Alex Garland
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Following his next project, Alex Garland has once again stated that he will stop directing films. More on the story here.

It’s been a couple of years since British filmmaker Alex Garland put out the surprising statement that he was done with directing. The announcement didn’t come to pass immediately: Garland had his latest film, Civil War (catch our review here) to complete but he claimed that after that, he would be stepping away from the director’s chair, citing two key reasons for his plans.

“I’ve got a quite complicated but serious internal dialogue about what I’m going to do next,” the Ex Machina director told Screendaily back in the summer of 2022. “Years ago, I started out as a novelist and then stopped writing novels and started working in film and I have been feeling quite strongly that I should stop directing films and I should write for other people with the intention of trying to execute the film they want to make, rather than trying to force through the film I want to make, which is what used to happen in the old days.”

As well as expressing a desire to collaborate with other directors, Garland was likely exhausted at the time given that he reportedly finished post-production work on Men just 48 hours before Civil War began principal photography. That’s a punishing amount of work to face, and when your filmography is as flawless as Alex Garland’s, we’d imagine you work even harder to keep it so.

The release of Men in 2022 was perhaps the first film directed by Garland that didn’t completely work (here’s our review) although let’s be clear: an Alex Garland film that doesn’t completely land is still richer in ideas and artistry than most films that land in front of our eyeballs. Either way, when it was announced recently that Garland would be co-directing another film titled Warfare (based on the 2007 Iraq war), it seemed that perhaps the filmmaker had changed his retirement plans.

Apparently, Garland has simply postponed his retirement rather than outright cancelling it. Speaking to The Guardian, Garland reaffirmed his plans to stop directing, stating, “Nothing’s changed. I’m in a very similar state. I’m not planning to direct again in the foreseeable future.”

The piece doesn’t offer anything else from Garland in this respect, but it is part of a wider-ranging feature that is well worth your time. Whether Garland will see his retirement plans through once Warfare is shot and released, we’ll have to see but for now at least, it looks like he still plans to call time on his directing career in the near future.

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