Michael Caine says he's stepping away from acting!
If there is a slice of the DC movie multiverse where Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne is still fighting his crusade in Gotham, then from now on he’s going to have to make his own dinner. With well over 150 movies to his name including two Oscar wins — for Hannah and Her Sisters and The Cider Hourse Rules — Michael Caine is set to finally retire from acting.
Michael Caine shared the news with Simon Mayo on Kermode & Mayo’s Film Review podcast, saying his final film will be the upcoming Best Sellers. Caine said he hadn’t been offered a role for two years — presumably because of the scarcity of productions during the COVID-19 pandemic — and that he’s dealing with what he called a “spine problem.” He also referred to his budding writing career, joking that while actors suffer early calls, as a writer you can work “without leaving the bed.” Caine added that he’s 88 years old and that there “aren’t exactly scripts pouring out where the lead is 88.” You can listen to the clip from the podcast below.
It certainly sounds reasonable for Michael Caine to put up his feet at this point but, if this news breaks your heart, there’s reason to believe healing is on the way. Caine has apparently decided to retire before only to be lured back into acting. Speaking to Variety in August, he said he was determined to retire in the ’90s when he was in his sixties. In particular he mentioned films like The Cider House Rules, Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, and Blood and Wine — the 1997 crime thriller he made with Jack Nicholson. Giving Variety a quote that should be immortalized, Caine said, “it was amazing the things I did after I decided I didn’t want to do anything anymore.”
There’s also the fact that while Michael Caine says he’s done after Best Sellers, what we know about his schedule seems to disagree. After Best Sellers, Caine will appear in the historical action-drama Medieval, though judging by a Deadline report from 2018, it seems likely principal photography on that film wrapped before the pandemic hit. Then there’s The Great Escaper in which Caine stars as Bernard Jordan, who escaped a care home in 2014 to attend the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings. Variety reported that film was due to film in June, so he’s likely already finished with that. But Caine was also expected to reprise the role Arthur Tressler for Now You See Me 3, which is still being developed.
Then, at the risk of sounding sarcastic, there’s the simple fact that Christopher Nolan isn’t done making films yet. Ever since being cast as Alfred Pennyworth in 2005’s Batman Begins, Michael Caine’s appeared in most of Nolan’s films. Another Nolan regular, Cillian Murphy, was just cast as the lead of the upcoming Nolan historical thriller Oppenheimer, and there’s bound to be a Caine part in there if he wants it. Murphy will play J. Robert Oppenheimer, the man who headed the Manhattan Project which lead to the first successful nuclear detonation in the history of the world. The real life Manhattan Project was chock full of scientists, and Caine could surely fill the shoes of one of them.