Alex Garland Has Not Changed His Mind About Quitting Directing, Says It Keeps Him Awake in the Night


The Ex Machina and Annihilation director Alex Garland has reiterated his decision to step back from directing. Having said that he does not have any plan to return to directing, he will now solely focus on screenwriting. 

Alex Garland's Civil WarAlex Garland's Civil War
Alex Garland’s Civil War

Garland began his career as a go-to screenwriter for Danny Boyle, having written the scripts for 28 Days Later, Sunshine, and, also, Mark Romanek’s Never Let Me Go.

In a new interview with The Guardian, Garland said that the upcoming Civil War might be his last film as a director.

Alex Garland Confirms He’s Retiring From Directing 

Director Alex Garland says he’s done directing for the “foreseeable future.” In a new interview with The Guardian, Garland said he has no plans to direct another movie after Civil War.

Nothing’s changed. I’m in a very similar state. I’m not planning to direct again in the foreseeable future.”

Alex Garland | Credit: Screengrab/ BFI/ YouTube Alex Garland | Credit: Screengrab/ BFI/ YouTube
Alex Garland | Credit: Screengrab/ BFI/ YouTube

I do actually love film, but filmmaking doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It exists in a life and also in a broader context.”

He added that it is not about the lack of funding for his projects, but, rather, “from the fact that you’re asking people to trust something that, on the face of it, doesn’t look very trustworthy.” 

And, he said that he has a responsibility towards the cast and crew that “keeps him awake in the night.” 

Meanwhile, he said that from now onwards, he will focus on screenwriting only. His upcoming movie Civil War is made at a budget of $50 million (Per THR), but it has got the projection of a domestic opening weekend of at least $18 million to $24 million, according to Deadline

Alex Garland Said the Same Thing In 2022 Also

This is not the first time that the filmmaker has opened up about quitting directing. In 2022, in a conversation with the New York Times, Garland mentioned a potential retirement from directing after he completes his current film, Civil War.

I’m not really a film director, I’m a writer who directs out of convenience,” Garland candidly said.

I’m tired of feeling like a fraud,” the filmmaker revealed to The New York Times. 

kirsten dunst in civil war-2kirsten dunst in civil war-2
Kirsten Dunst in Civil War

I’ve got so many other reasons to feel like a fraud, I don’t need to add to it in a structural way with my job.”

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.”  

It would be more honest, probably, to say I don’t particularly enjoy it. It’s something I have to force myself to do,” he added. 

Civil War is considered a “contemporary war movie” and stars Kirsten Dunst, Wagner Moura, Stephen McKinley Henderson, and Cailee Spaeny. The film hits theaters on April 12.  

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