Before Thursday night’s Old Man & The Gun Manhattan premiere, star Robert Redford walked back his retirement.

“That was a mistake…I should never have said that,” Redford told a Variety reporter. “If I’m going to retire, I should just slip quietly away from acting, but I shouldn’t be talking about it because I think it draws too much attention in the wrong way. I want to be focused on this film and the cast.”

The reporter asked Redford to double-clarify and he said, “I’m not answering that…keep the mystery alive.”

Hollywood Elsewhere interpretation: Redford may or may not be hanging up his spurs, but I suspect he’s been told by either his publicist or Fox Searchlight reps to walk back the retirement thing. Why, I’m not sure. Presumably because they believe that on some level it detracts from interest in the film. I would think that paying audiences might make a special effort to see David Lowery’s light-hearted period romance given that it might be Redford’s last shot.

Imagine Alan Ladd‘s Shane clop-clopping on his horse and riding up into the mountains. Young Brandon DeWilde shouts out “Shane! Come back!” Shane stops, turns around, looks back at DeWilde and does just that. “You’ve convinced me, Joey,” he says. “I’ll stick around. What the hell, the bad guys are dead.”