Quentin Tarantino scraps his final film ‘The Movie Critic’ - what’s next for the director?

Quentin Tarantino scraps his final film ‘The Movie Critic’ - what’s next for the director?

Despite recent reports that Quentin Tarantino’s 10th and final project was confirmed to start shooting this fall, The Movie Critic has been scrapped.

The director previously expressed the desire to “leave a 10-film filmography” and that The Movie Critic would be his feature film swansong.

Tarantino has previously revealed that it was about a real-life film journalist for a “porno rag”, who he often read growing up. “He wrote about mainstream movies and he was the second-string critic,” Tarantino shared. “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.”

It was set to be set in 1977 Southern California, with Brad Pitt starring for the third time with Tarantino, after Inglourious Basterds and Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.

According to Deadline, the word is that Tarantino had rewritten his script, which delayed the start of production. But the filmmaker simply changed his mind and decided The Movie Critic will not be his 10th and final.

He is reportedly “going back to the drawing board to figure out what that final movie will be”.

Quentin Tarantino
Quentin Tarantino - Getty Images

Granted, Tarantino has previously returned to projects after shelving them. In 2014, he cancelled his plans to make The Hateful Eight when a rough draft of the film’s script leaked online after he shared it with a small group of actors. After calling it “betrayal” and stating that he had no longer any interest in making the film, The Hateful Eight was eventually filmed and released in 2015.

However, this recent news throws things wide open for Tarantino, who has long maintained that he wants to go out on the top of his game, saying he’d retire by the time he is 60.

His rationale is that even the most celebrated directors see their quality of work diminish later in life, and he wants his filmography to be remembered “without a misfire”.

In 2012, he told Playboy: “I want to stop at a certain point. Directors don’t get better as they get older. Usually the worst films in their filmography are those last four at the end. I am all about my filmography, and one bad film fucks up three good ones. I don’t want that bad, out-of-touch comedy in my filmography, the movie that makes people think, ‘Oh man, he still thinks it’s 20 years ago.’ When directors get out-of-date, it’s not pretty.”

Fair enough, but technically, he’ll miss out on both his statements, as Tarantino is 61, and if we’re being strict about his methodology, he’s already directed 10 films:

  1. Reservoir Dogs - 1992

  2. Pulp Fiction - 1994

  3. Jackie Brown - 1997

  4. Kill Bill: Volume 1 - 2003

  5. Kill Bill: Volume 2 - 2004

  6. Grindhouse: Death Proof - 2007

  7. Inglorious Basterds - 2009

  8. Django Unchained - 2012

  9. The Hateful Eight - 2015

  10. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood - 2019

However, Tarantino considers the two Kill Bill movies as one. Audiences still had to pay for two separate cinema tickets for each film though, so let’s not fool ourselves - whatever his next film will be, it’ll stand as his 11th.

But whatever helps Quentin sleep at night...

So, what will Tarantino’s final film be?

It could be a retooled version of The Movie Critic (à la The Hateful Eight), or something else entirely different.

He previously worked on an R-rated Star Trek movie for Paramount that did not come to fruition; he expressed interest at the time in directing Casino Royale but was rumoured to have been turned down by the James Bond producers; and fans of Kill Bill have been badgering him for a third instalment – which he would doubtlessly claim to be part of the Kill Bill saga and therefore one film... So let’s not go there.

Whatever his next project may be – entirely new or a rethink on an older idea - Tarantino is still expected to continue working in the creative fields after he makes one last feature. He has suggested directing limited series or plays could be in his future.

Any further details are top secret right now – probably locked in Pulp Fiction ’s combination locked suitcase.

The code’s 666, in case you’d forgotten. If you get your hands on it, feel free to share the contents.