Quentin Tarantino Clarified Details About His Upcoming Film The Movie Critic

If we were in the run up to any other Quentin Tarantino movie, the world would obviously be digging for any clues they could get on the next chapter of the iconic filmmaker’s resume. But his next project The Movie Critic is supposed to be his tenth and final film. So that means people are going to be scrambling even harder for details about what’s to come. Well, we have quite a bit to report now, as Tarantino has clarified details about his upcoming project, while attending the Cannes Film Festival. 

Sitting down with Deadline for a chat about his special presentation of the 1977 picture Rolling Thunder, Tarantino confirmed once again the three previous details about The Movie Critic that were already revealed. Furthermore, the writer/director gave some important background on the titular character, citing the following as the basis for this new story. He said it is:

…based on a guy who really lived, but was never really famous, and he used to write movie reviews for a porno rag. … 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. Think about Travis’s diary entries.

Mentioning Taxi Driver’s protagonist in your film’s DNA is definitely a way to get the point across that The Movie Critic isn’t going to follow a traditional entertainment journalist. While this figure is definitely going to be an interesting character to follow, they aren’t going to be from the beaten path that would have been followed if Quentin Tarantino did play into the rumors that famed reviewer Paulilne Kael was his inspiration.

At the same time, this unnamed character does seem to be based on a real-life person that Tarantino was a fan of. Though in truly discreet fashion, the man doesn’t name who this person was or what “porno rag” they wrote for. 

If anything, what’s been said above puts his tenth film squarely within the universe of Quentin Tarantino’s ranked filmography. Fans of his previous effort, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood will probably warm to this prospect the quickest, as it sounds like another love letter from the award-winning talent to something he truly respects. That much comes across in these further points that Tarantino made about The Movie Critic’s mysterious main character: 

But the porno rag critic was very, very funny. He was very rude, you know. He cursed. He used racial slurs. But his shit was really funny. He was as rude as hell. 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.

Between the age range specified for the lead role, and the director’s desire to cast a new face in the part, don’t expect to see any Quentin Tarantino all-stars like Leonardo DiCaprio or Samuel L. Jackson cast as the centerpiece performer. Also, contrary to the first reported details on The Movie Critic, the rumors of a female lead sound like they’ve been debunked as well. Unless the titular critic isn’t the main focus, but rather a character that this speculated female character who interacts with him. 

There are both reasons to be overjoyed and devastated about The Movie Critic, as Quentin Tarantino choosing his exit off of the filmmaking stage is bittersweet. That duality of feelings is going to be with us throughout the path to this would-be cinematic swan song for one of the industry’s strongest creative voices. While we’ll be waiting to meet this “very very funny” dude for ourselves, there’s plenty of excitement ahead slated on the schedule of 2023 new movie releases. That should soften the blow, if only just a little bit.