A movie about the movie industry set in the 70s? Sounds very Quentin Tarantino. The “Pulp Fiction” filmmaker has been hinting at retirement for several years now, suggesting his tenth film would be his final (not counting any TV projects he might do, which he considers different). And it sounds like he may have found that project in a movie called “The Movie Critic,” being written for a female lead.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, “The Movie Critic” is already written, and he is preparing to direct the film this fall, a much faster timetable than anyone would have thought. The logline details are being kept under wraps, but the source described the story to THR “as being set in late 1970s Los Angeles with a female lead at its center.”
The film may also center on famous female film critic Pauline Kael or a character based on the notoriously ruthless and combative New Yorker film critic, primarily considered one of the most influential and important movie critics of all time. Kael was an essayist and novelist and arguably has dramatically influenced the movie books that Tarantino has recently written, like his “Cinema Speculation” book. Tarantino was also one of the talking heads of the 2018 documentary “What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael.“
Kael was known for her fights with editors and filmmakers, never backing down for a fight (imagine her in the age of Twitter)—more context from THR.
“In the late 1970s, Kael had a very brief tenure working as a consultant for Paramount, a position she accepted at the behest of actor Warren Beatty. The timing of that Paramount job seems to coincide with the setting of the script — and the filmmaker is known to have a deep respect for Kael, making the odds of her being the subject of the film more likely.” Who’s already thinking of Margot Robbie again?
No studio is behind the film yet, but a bidding war will surely break out. Tarantino has been enjoying a lot of meta-Hollywood storytelling lately with his “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood” film and all its adjunct/adjacent projects—the novel, the stageplay he keeps threatening to make—and so perhait’st’s not a surprise for his next, and possibly final film, he would pivot towards the meta film criticism that he himself has been indulging in of late (and has suggested after retirement, many more film criticism books could come).
It was reported at one time that Tarantino had a TV series set for 2023, but clearly, that plan has changed. He’s also talked about a “Bounty Law” TV spin-off from “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood,” but it could just be one of Tarantino’s many wishlist projects that never happen (tons of examples here; The Lost, Unmade & Possible Future Films Of Quentin Tarantino). No plot details ever did surface, but maybe it’s something he might tackle afterward. Tarantino was in talks to direct episodes of the new “Justified” revival but reportedly dropped out over creative differences (reportedly, he wanted to shoot on film, and the TV producers did not).
Quentin Tarantino’s Final Film, ‘The Movie Critic’ May Center On Famous Film Critic Pauline Kael