Is Woody Allen, at age 86, about to shoot his last film? The writer-director-actor suggested so in two recent interviews and in a subsequent statement issued Monday.
While promoting the Spanish publication of his new short-story collection "Zero Gravity," the four-time Academy Award winner told the Barcelona newspaper La Vanguardia in an interview published Saturday that his upcoming 50th movie would be his last.
"My next film will be number 50; I think it's a good time to stop," he said, in a translation of the Spanish article.
He added, "My idea, in principle, is not to make more movies and focus on writing these stories and, well, now I'm thinking more of a novel, which would be my first novel."
Allen in June similarly said that his upcoming film, shooting in Paris this fall, could be his last. He told actor Alec Baldwin in an Instagram Live interview that while staying at home during the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, unable to make a movie, "I started to think … 'I don't have to make a film. I don't have to be cold in the winter or hot in the summer and up at 5 o'clock in the morning and making decisions all day long.' … What if I didn't make film? This is a nice way to live.' Then I thought, 'Well, maybe I'll make one or two more' … .”
In no account did Allen use the word "retirement," and from the outset expressed interest in continuing to have new writing published. His representative reiterated this in a statement Monday.
"Woody Allen never said he was retiring, nor did he say he was writing another novel. He said he was thinking about not making films as making films that go straight or very quickly to streaming platforms is not so enjoyable for him, as he is a great lover of the cinema experience. Currently, he has no intention of retiring and is very excited to be in Paris shooting his new movie, which will be the 50th."
Allen's most recent feature, "Rifkin's Festival," starring Wallace Shawn and Gina Gershon, was released in Europe in fall 2020 and had a limited theatrical release in the United States this past January.
Allen has no publicist and his manager did not respond to a Newsday request for comment. The filmmaker has not commented on Facebook, his sole social-media platform.