Alex Garland’s next project, Civil War, will “definitely” be his “last film as a director for at least a while.”

British filmmaker Alex Garland has revealed that he plans to take a step back from directing once he’s finished up with his next project, Civil War. The director is in the midst of a gruelling back-to-back release schedule, having entered production with Civil War almost immediately after finishing the recently-released Men. 

The punishing nature of such an unforgiving schedule would likely have most of us desiring an extended break away from directing, not to mention the fact that Garland is also dealing with a lukewarm response to Men, the first movie in his filmography that critics really haven’t warmed to.

More than anything, Garland states that he is keen to return to screenwriting, suggesting he’s currently quite engaged with the idea of collaborating with other filmmakers again.

“I’ve got a quite complicated but serious internal dialogue about what I’m going to do next,” he told Screendaily. “Years ago, I started out as a novelist and then stopped writing novels and started working in film and I have been feeling quite strongly that I should stop directing films and I should write for other people with the intention of trying to execute the film they want to make, rather than trying to force through the film I want to make, which is what used to happen in the old days.”

Garland admits that it could just be exhaustion talking, as he ploughs his way through a second consecutive production, adding: “It could be in part a product that I ended post-production on Men literally 48 hours before principal photography of Civil War, so maybe that was just exhausting. But I wonder whether it’s time to step back.”

Garland certainly penned some modern classics during his turns as a screenwriter, including 28 Days Later and Never Let Me Go. If he does decide to take an extended absence from directing, then there’ll likely be a long queue of filmmakers looking to persuade him to jump aboard their projects.

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