That seems to be the word from Paul Haggis. The director and screenwriter gave an interview to Entertainment Weekly (not yet published) about his September 14th film, In The Valley Of Elah, and Clint Eastwood’s name came up. Remember, the 77-year-old icon has not acted in anyone else’s movie since 1993’s In the Line of Fire and only his own films after that (and not in his last two). I know what you’re thinking: there’s a scoop in the official magazine of receptionists? (Well, even the reporter Gregory Kirschling admits on EW’s blog that he “stumbled across the news” for the mag’s upcoming Fall Movie Preview issue.) But Haggis appears to confirm Clint quietly joined the Paul Newman/Sean Connery retirees club:
EW: There was talk of Clint playing the Tommy Lee Jones part. Is that true?
Paul Haggis: Well, that was my idea, but it was never his. (Laughs.) [Eastwood] told me from the beginning he was never gonna act in anything else. He said, “Well, Paul, I was in retirement, I came out of it to do Million Dollar Baby. I don’t think I can go out better, do you?” I went, “Oh, damn, how can I argue with that?”
EW: I didn’t realize he’d retired from acting.
PH: Yeah! [Million Dollar Baby producer] Al Ruddy, who was his friend, sent him the script [for Baby] and talked him into considering it again.
EW: Is that widely known?
PH: No, I don’t think so.