The Hollywood Reporter broke news on Tuesday night about Quentin Tarantino’s next project. The trade’s sources say that the two-time Oscar winner, who turns 60 later this month, has finished a script and hopes to start shooting this autumn. The title is “The Movie Critic,” it is set in Los Angeles in the late 1970s and has a female lead.
That’s all that’s known for certain (and even this remains unconfirmed by Tarantino), but that didn’t stop many from theorizing. Over the decades, Tarantino has made his affection for critic Pauline Kael known (indeed, he writes about her quite a bit in his recent book “Cinema Speculation”). In the late 1970s, Kael held, for a short time, a position within Paramount Pictures (brought in at Warren Beatty’s suggestion) and that certainly could be the focal point of the project.
Keep in mind, however, that when word first broke about “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood,” initial chit-chat was that it was “a Charles Manson film.” While that isn’t exactly untrue, it isn’t the best description, either. I would suggest that the best thing to do with this is to not go in with any expectations.
For years, the writer-director has said that he’s going to quit directing when he’s made 10 movies. If you consider “Kill Bill” as two independent titles, he’s already there. But if you think of it as one movie, that means that “The Movie Critic” is it. (He certainly has other directing credits on his resume – like that episode of “ER” or, one of the silliest promotional stunts of all time, a single shot in “Sin City,” but let’s not quibble.)
Currently, the new project has no studio behind it, but THR thinks that ought to get settled very soon. Famously, Tarantino’s work was always produced/distributed by Miramax and then The Weinstein Company. His most recent movie, “Once Upon a Time,” was his first project independent of Harvey Weinstein, and was released by Sony. It grossed $377 million worldwide (not bad for a movie about a guy driving around!) and was nominated for 10 Oscars, winning two—one for production designers Barbara Ling and Nancy Haigh, and the Best Supporting Actor Award for Brad Pitt.
“The Movie Critic” will be Tarantino’s first project since he began living in Israel with his wife Daniella Pick (who has a brief role in “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”) and two children.
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