Writer/director Quentin Tarantino has seemingly settled on a concept for his tenth and final theatrical film with “The Movie Critic.” It’s been confirmed to be set in 1977 with a male lead character loosely based on a real critic who used to write for an unnamed “porno rag.” While we are still waiting for an announcement of who will be playing that critic, the director has given us more sneaky clues about that mysterious character and revealed a film that is influencing it.
In a new interview with French outlet Liberation, Tarantino has revealed that his lead character is comparable to Robert De Niro‘s iconic Travis Bickle from Martin Scorsese‘s “Taxi Driver.” Perhaps, we’re looking at another unhinged character.
“It’s Travis Bickle if he were a film critic,” Tarantino said of his final feature film.
A beloved movie with extremely dark subject matter from 1976 that inspired countless aspiring filmmakers all over the world for decades and is considered one of the best movies made by Scorsese, which is saying a lot. Name-checking Bickle is certainly an interesting notion. In “Taxi Driver,” Bickle is a loner that is so detached from societal norms that he takes a young woman he’s trying to court to a hardcore porno film on their first date and is shocked when she’s horrified by the graphic sex scenes on screen. Bickle eventually spirals into a violent path that sees him attempt to rescue a child sex worker (Jodie Foster) he befriends from a dangerous pimp played by Harvey Keitel.
How far the comparison goes is a little unknown at the moment. However, this “Taxi Driver” influence isn’t that crazy as the filmmaker has been talking up another 1970s revenge pic “Rolling Thunder” (released in 1977) as well lately. A benchmark movie for Tarantino that he’s previously mused about remaking and screened “Rolling Thunder” at the recent Cannes Film Festival. Both of these seminal films for Tarantino were penned by Paul Schrader (“The Card Counter“) and feature extremely violent endings with lead characters, which could be telegraphing what happens in “The Movie Critic.” Although, he’s clarified it won’t be a “revenge pic” and Tarantino could be simply angling to channel a gritty Schrader story.
We’re still waiting on key aspects for “The Movie Critic,” beyond the 1970s setting and profession of the protagonist, such as a full plot synopsis and what lineup of actors Tarantino is going to assemble for the highly-anticipated film. Yet, thankfully, we likely won’t have to wait too long to learn more.