“What I’m going to do is screenwriting”: Alex Garland explains retirement comments

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The British screenwriter and director Alex Garland has clarified his previous comments regarding his apparent retirement from filmmaking. 

The director, whose latest movie, Civil War, is due to hit cinemas on April 12th, stated earlier this week that he was “not planning to direct again in the foreseeable future” before insisting “the pressure doesn’t come from the money…It comes from the fact you’re asking people to trust something that, on the face of it, doesn’t look very trustworthy”. 

Some fans and industry commentators linked this statement to the forthcoming release of Civil War, however, suggesting that Garland had had an unsatisfactory time shooting the big-budget A24 movie. Starring the likes of Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons, Nick Offerman and Cailee Spaeny, the film, which tells the story of a modern-day civil war and the journalists caught in the crossfire, is the most ambitious undertaking of his career to date.

More recently, however, he has clarified these remarks, disputing claims that he did not enjoy his time making Civil War. Speaking to IndieWire, the director stated: “What I said is I’m going to take a break from directing for the foreseeable future. How that could get extrapolated as what pride I do or do not feel in this movie. I just don’t see the connecting thread”.

Continuing, he added: “Just to go back to the statement, I said: I’m going to take a break from directing or I’m going to stop directing for the foreseeable future. That is such an uncontentious thing to say. I also said what I’m going to do is screenwriting. Screenwriting is filmmaking. You can’t erase screenwriters or DOPs or editors or actors from the process of screenwriting. Filmmaking is not the preserve solely of directors”.

Earlier this year, it was revealed that Garland and director Danny Boyle would be working on a long-awaited sequel to their 2002 zombie horror movie 28 Days Later, which Garland penned the screenplay for. 

Take a look at the trailer for Garland’s latest cinematic effort, Civil War, below.

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