The news of Quentin Tarantino’s final film has been awaited some time, and he’s done seemingly everything––start a podcast, nearly direct episodes of Justified, and write (in no short order) an excellent novel, a delightful book of criticism, a yet-unproduced play, a two-hour Bounty Law TV series, and some limited series––to prevent it. But THR have learned Tarantino is at last shopping the script for his 10th and final feature, The Movie Critic, “set in late 1970s Los Angeles with a female lead at its center,” with a fall shoot in mind.
They are quick, likely right to draw connections with Tarantino’s beloved (and film culture’s forever-contested) Pauline Kael, who circa the late ’70s acted as creative consultant for Paramount Studios. (This thanks to Warren Beatty, QT’s original pick for Bill––potentially one more of many, many instances wherein the filmmaker’s life and art intersect.) Tarantino claimed Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was the climax of his feature-filmmaking career and the 10th picture would be more of an epilogue; the mere suggestion of paying due to a figure who so influenced him is already freighted with great meaning.
So he said in 1994:
She was as influential as any director was in helping me develop my aesthetic. I never went to film school, but she was the professor in the film school of my mind.
You’re no doubt aware few details are being made available, and if anything THR’s assumption the script could go to Sony, who so capably made a hit from Hollywood, is just that. But buyers are expected to see something soon, and that alone is a pleasure: the build-up to a Tarantino release can reach levels of fun––or irritation, courtesy loony thinkpieces decrying a film the writers haven’t seen and filmmaker upon whom they wish to project every possible grievance––nearly commensurate with the film itself.
Find a clip of Tarantino discussing Kael below: