Filmmaker Alex Garland Clarifies He Isn't Retiring

Last week, in an interview with U.K. outlet, The Guardian, British filmmaker Alex Garland (“Civil War“) reiterated his plans to pause directing efforts for “the foreseeable future.” For some, that’s been distilled and reduced to Garland announcing formal plans to “retire” from filmmaking, something the filmmaker has taken great issues with. So, in a brand new interview with IndieWire, the writer/director has attempted to once again clarify his statements, stressing that he’s taking a break from filmmaking, not retiring, and that the pressures of making his new A24 “Civil War” political thriller had nothing to do with his decision.

“What I said is I’m going to take a break from directing for the foreseeable future. How could that get extrapolated as to what pride I do or do not feel in this movie? I just don’t see the connecting thread,” Garland explained about those who made logic jumps that he was announcing his retirement and taking his original sentiment out of context. “I said I’m going to stop directing for the foreseeable future. Why would a statement like that be taken and picked over or interpreted to that degree?… It’s a general strangeness that exists to do with what form public statements take, how they are used, and how words are interpreted or read.”

READ MORE: Alex Garland Says ‘Civil War’ Is Made In The “Apocalypse Now’ Mode & Meant To Be “Opaque”

Garland also alludes in his statement about how some outlets pinned the decision to step away on the tough experience of making “Civil War,” which is odd because he first made these declarations about wanting to focus on screenwriting in 2022 while promoting his folklore thriller “Men” long before he had finished “Civil War” or anyone had seen an edited cut of it.

Garland was also quick to distinguish that screening is still very much him in the role of a filmmaker. “I also said what I’m going to do is screenwriting. Screenwriting is filmmaking. You can’t erase screenwriters, DOPs, editors, or actors from the process of screenwriting. Filmmaking is not the preserve solely of directors,” he explained.

Despite his intention to take a break from directing, Garland is not slowing down in the world of moviemaking right away. He is already set to co-direct the war film “Warfare” with stunt coordinator and producer Ray Mendoza. Perhaps that film will be his “last” directing effort before his break. Following that, he will reunite with former collaborator Danny Boyle for a trilogy of new rage virus films at Sony, starting with “28 Years Later” that he is writing.  This exciting project might see the return of Oscar-winner Cillian Murphy and expand that horror/sci-fi universe in a big way.

His latest movie, “Civil War,” is a dystopian political thriller set in the near future, which follows a team of military-embedded journalists as they race against time to reach Washington D.C. before rebel factions do. The film stars Kirsten Dunst, Wagner Moura, Cailee Spaeny, Stephen McKinley Henderson, and Nick Offerman. “Civil War” will be released on April 12, ad you can read The Playlist’s review of the film right here.