Following the widespread success of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Quentin Tarantino is back behind the camera for his next project. With his upcoming movie, The Movie Critic, Tarantino has stated it will be his final film before retiring from filmmaking.
While the movie is still being actively developed, Tarantino has already revealed some of the key details of what audiences can expect. Here’s what we know so far about Quentin Tarantino’s The Movie Critic.
Quentin Tarantino’s The Movie Critic: His Final Film
The Movie Critic is not only Tarantino’s last film, but he also considers it to be his tenth film. While that may not add up for fans, Tarantino actually considers the Kill Bill movies one film.
The Movie Critic has already received a tax incentive from California to shoot in Los Angeles and will begin production soon under the working title “#10”. So, why does Tarantino feel that number ten is the magic number to stop at? That actually originated from a 2012 interview with Playboy. While promoting Django Unchained, Tarantino said he doesn’t plan to be an “old-man filmmaker.”
“Directors don’t get better as they get older,” said the filmmaker. “Usually, the worst films in their filmography are those last four at the end. And I am all about my filmography. And one bad film f***s up three good ones.”
It’s also poetic for Tarantino to shoot his final film in Los Angeles. In September 2023, Tarantino stated, “I started directing movies here. And it is only fitting that I shoot my final motion picture in the cinema capital of the world.”
The Movie Critic Cast Speculations & Rumors
Even though plans for the film were first announced in early 2023, it remains to be seen who Tarantino will cast in the project. However, given it will likely be his last hurrah before stepping away from directing, there’s no shortage of actors that Tarantino may want to work with one last time. There is a rumored roster of stars said to be attached or in discussions for the film, including Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Leonardo DiCaprio, John Travolta, and perhaps Paul Walter Hauser.
Hauser is widely speculated to take on the lead role. If he does, it would be his biggest role to date. He’s received no shortage of praise for his performances in I, Tonya, Richard Jewell, and Black Bird.
Additionally, Margot Robbie is also rumored to be in discussions for a role in the flick. She starred in Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood as Sharon Tate.
What Will Be the Movie’s Plot?
According to Tarantino, The Movie Critic takes place in California in 1977 and is based on a guy who writes movie reviews for a porno rag called ‘The Popstar Pages.’
As a teenager, Tarantino had a job refilling magazines and emptying quarters out of a porn-dealing vending machine. At the time, he recalled reading movie reviews in one of those magazines. And while that reviewer never became famous, the film will focus on his life.
“He wrote about mainstream movies, and he was the second-string critic. I think he was a very good critic. He was as cynical as hell. His reviews were a cross between early Howard Stern and what Travis Bickle might be if he were a film critic,” Tarantino told Deadline, referring to the character in Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver.
“He wrote like he was 55, but he was only in his early to mid-30s. He died in his late thirties. It wasn’t clear for a while, but now I’ve done some more research, and I think it was complications due to alcoholism,” said Tarantino.
1977 was an exceptionally big year for cinema, with massive classics like Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind debuting. The period also saw the rise of a new generation of filmmakers, including Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola, and Dennis Hopper.
So, What Should Tarantino Fans Expect?
Fans should expect Tarantino to reuse a trick from Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. As the film is set in the 1970s, Tarantino will be featuring extracts and recreations of scenes from real movies in the same era. Taxi Driver screenwriter Paul Schrader revealed that Tarantino will not only feature movies from the 1970s but that Tarantino even sought his permission to “redo the ending of Rolling Thunder,” the 1977 revenge flick.
The ending of Rolling Thunder differed from Schrader’s original screenplay. The final version shown in the movie is “completely rewritten and watered down.” This might mean that Tarantino plans to feature the original ending of Rolling Thunder.
Tarantino even dedicated a chapter of his 2022 publication Cinema Speculation to the film. He said, “Rolling Thunder is a really rough film. It was a hard R in 1977! But Schrader’s script was even harder, more violent, more cynical, with a jaw-dropping turn of events at the climax that frankly is so f***ing brilliant I’d still love to see it done in a movie.”
In Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Tarantino featured archive footage from 1960s movies. The movies shown include Lady in Cement, Three in the Attic, and The Wrecking Crew starring Sharon Tate. Tarantino also digitally altered footage from the 1960s by inserting Leonardo DiCaprio’s character in certain scenes. This includes Burt Reynolds in FBI, Ty Hardin in Death on the Run, and Steve McQueen in The Great Escape.
Quentin Tarantino’s The Movie Critic: A Speculated Release Date
Production for Quentin Tarantino’s The Movie Critic was set to start in September 2023. However, the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes derailed those initial plans. But as the strikes have been resolved in September and November, respectively, production is set to begin soon – sometime early to mid-2024.
“They’re not hurrying up or anything, QT is taking his time. And he’ll shoot it when it all comes together,” a source told World of Reel.
With the script already completed, Tarantino is said to be looking for studios to invest. There will likely be a bidding war for distribution rights for the film. In 2017, Tarantino cut ties with The Weinstein Company in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal. So it’s possible that he may bring the film to Sony, who he previously partnered with Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
We’ll keep you posted as more news on the project surfaces.