Alex Garland announces retirement from filmmaking after contentious ‘Civil War’ release

The director said that “filmmaking doesn’t exist in a vacuum” while expressing his frustration and displeasure over industry norms

Published - April 01, 2024 01:07 pm IST

Alex Garland

Alex Garland | Photo Credit: JACK PLUNKETT

In an interview with The Guardian, director Alex Garland dropped a bombshell about his future in filmmaking. Following the buzz surrounding his latest project, Civil War, Garland announced that he intends to step away from directing for the foreseeable future.

“I’m not planning to direct again in the foreseeable future... I do actually love film, but filmmaking doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It exists in a life and also in a broader context”, Garland explained.

Civil War, set to be released by A24, has stirred significant controversy since its premiere at SXSW 2024. The film envisions a fractured United States embroiled in a second civil war, igniting both praise and criticism for its politically neutral stance.

Previously known for his work on Ex Machina and Annihilation, Garland expressed doubts about returning to the director’s chair. Despite his love for film, he cited concerns about the pressures of filmmaking, particularly in managing actors and crew members.

While Garland plans to remain active as a screenwriter, he emphasized his reluctance to navigate the challenges of directing. He mentioned his dissatisfaction with industry norms, including the handling of intimate scenes and excessive reliance on visual effects.

“Alicia (Vikander) and Sonoya (Mizuno) are trusting that nudity is going to be dealt with thoughtfully and respectfully… Cinema leans toward not doing that”, he said.

Interestingly, Garland is already in talks to co-direct the upcoming Warfare - his second collaboration with Ray Mendoza, who served as the military supervisor for Garland’s latest, Civil War.

As Civil War gears up for its theatrical release on April 12, audiences may witness the culmination of Garland’s directorial career, at least for the time being.

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