Richard Curtis has confirmed he will be bowing out as a director as he premiered his romantic drama About Time.
The Love Actually director and co-founder of Comic Relief said it was "exciting" to open the Film4 Summer Screen outdoor cinema series at London's Somerset House with his fourth film before joking that he would make the most of his swansong.
"It's lovely to be outside. I've never done this before so the idea of 1,600 people watching a movie of mine outside is very new," said the 56-year-old on the red carpet.
"This might be my directing swansong - although I'll continue writing - so this could be my last premiere."
The time-travelling drama stars Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams and Bill Nighy, who all attended the premiere. Referring to the huge outdoor screen, Richard continued: "I'm definitely staying for the whole night - I want to see Rachel's enormous face for as long as I possibly can."
He revealed that he was giving up directing because it is "10,000 days of worry". "I'm hoping people who see this movie will take away the message that it is good to try and enjoy every day of your life as much as you can and directing is intense, so I'm trying to avoid that tension," he said.
Canadian actress Rachel, who wore a futuristic-inspired gown by Roksanda Ilincic, called Richard's decision a "travesty", saying: "I would love for him to be making movies but he will always write and create art so it won't be the last we hear from him."
Domhnall admitted he was "furious" to hear about the director's decision but said he would be bowing out on a high: "He told me when I read for the part. It's a pity but I think he said a lot of what he wanted to say with this film."
Bill, a long-time collaborator of Richard's, said: "I hope that's not the case but I wouldn't blame him. Directing is such a long, hard road. I treasure our association."