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Alex Garland Announces Retirement from Filmmaking, Confirms He Won’t Direct Again

From 'Civil War' to '28 Years Later': Director Alex Garland Shares Favorite Films and Creative Process
Alex Garland (Getty Images)

Alex Garland, known for his critically acclaimed films Ex Machina, Annihilation, Men, and the upcoming Civil War, has expressed his intent to step away from directing after the release of his latest project. Garland has mentioned in the past his desire to return to writing and away from directing, which many initially thought was a passing sentiment. However, in a recent interview with The Guardian, Garland reaffirmed his decision, stating that he has no plans to direct in the foreseeable future.

Garland has directed four major films and the TV series Devs, all of which have been well-received by critics. Despite this success, he has grown increasingly frustrated with the pressures associated with directing. This frustration is not linked to financial concerns but rather to the responsibility of convincing actors and the crew to trust in his vision, especially when it involves abstract elements like special effects or sensitive scenes.

He elaborates that the stress comes from asking actors to trust that a blue screen will eventually become a convincing warzone or that nudity will be portrayed thoughtfully and respectfully. Garland emphasizes that, in cinema, there is often a tendency not to handle such matters with the necessary sensitivity, which adds to his frustration.

Alex Garland (Getty Images)

Civil War, set to hit theaters later this month, is a dystopian war movie that follows military-embedded journalists racing to Washington, D.C., amid a future American rebellion. Despite his continued passion for film, Garland has admitted that he has “fallen out of love” with the filmmaking process itself, largely due to the broader context and interactions required, including participation in press events.

Garland’s dissatisfaction with the director’s role stems from his preference for working behind the scenes without the spotlight. He appreciates film as an art form but finds the practicalities of filmmaking and the associated pressures overwhelming. Consequently, he feels more comfortable in the role of a writer, where the demands and public interactions are less intense.

Despite stepping back from directing, Garland will co-direct an upcoming project, Warfare, alongside Ray Mendoza, who served as the military supervisor on Civil War. This indicates that while he may not entirely leave the director’s chair, his involvement in future projects will likely be limited and more collaborative.

Rollie D. Eldred
Written By

Rollie is a film aficionado from LA, USA. He loves exploring international cinema and writing insightful reviews. He also looks like Chuck Norris, he gets that a lot. Get in touch with him at [email protected].

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