Has Quentin Tarantino scrapped his final film The Movie Critic?

The movie maestro continues to surprise...

Quentin Tarantino and Brad Pitt attend the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival in May 2019
Quentin Tarantino and Brad Pitt were expected to reunite for The Movie Critic. (WireImage)

Quentin Tarantino in 2023 confirmed that his next — and reportedly final — feature film, The Movie Critic, was in the works. But according to recent reports, that’s no longer the case.

According to Deadline, the Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill director has decided not to move forward with the idea — which would’ve followed a movie critic who writes for a sleazy magazine — after simply changing his mind on what his final film should be.

In recent years, Tarantino has made no secret of the fact that he plans to retire from movie-making after he reaches 10 movies or turns 60. With 2019’s Once Upon A Time In Hollywood constituting his ninth film and with his big 6-0 birthday having come and gone in March 2023, the reveal that his next movie was in pre-production certainly seemed well-timed.

Read more: Why is Tarantino retiring?

With these factors in mind, audiences were gearing up for what they thought would be Tarantino’s final feature film. While it looks like his plans may have changed, here’s everything we thought we knew about Tarantino’s now-ditched feature, The Movie Critic.

When was The Movie Critic going to be released?

Tarantino on the set of Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
Tarantino was reportedly set shoot the movie in LA in late 2024. (Sony)

An official release date for Tarantino’s The Movie Critic never arrived — and with the director now returning to the drawing board, it looks like it never will. However, rumours suggested that Tarantino would shoot the movie in LA in late 2024, with a potential 2025 release date.

Sony Pictures distributed Tarantino’s previous film Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, but it remained unknown as to which studio would have handled The Movie Critic.

Who was in The Movie Critic cast?

Brad Pitt as Cliff Booth in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
Brad Pitt was reportedly set to reprise his role from Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. (Sony)

According to Deadline, Oscar winner Brad Pitt was set to star as the lead in The Movie Critic, a paring which would have marked their third collaboration after Inglorious Basterds and Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. It had been rumoured that Pitt would have reprised his role as Cliff Booth from the latter film.

Another actor linked with a role in the film was Tom Cruise. Trade paper Variety claimed that Cruise was circling a role in the film after setting his sights on a return to auteur filmmakers.

I, Tonya star Paul Walter Hauser was another contender for a place in the cast after it was reported that he had been offered a role in the film.

Of course, like any auteur, Tarantino has a batch of actors that he regularly likes to work with, including Samuel L. Jackson, Leo DiCaprio, Uma Thurman, Tim Roth and many others, but none of these were ever confirmed for the film.

What was the film going to be about?

Quentin Tarantino and his wife Daniella Pick attend the Cannes Film Festival in 2023
Tarantino and his wife Daniella Pick attend the Cannes Film Festival in 2023. (VCG via Getty Images)

Plot details for The Movie Critic remained largely under wraps. After the film was confirmed in March 2023, its official log-line suggested that it would be set in the late 1970s with a female lead at its centre, leading to speculation that the film would centre on legendary critic Pauline Kael.

Tarantino squashed these rumours by revealing that while the film would take place in 1977 California, it would not involve Kael. He later confirmed that his star would be male.

Shedding more light on the character during an interview at Cannes 2023, Tarantino explained that his critic would write for a sleazy “porno rag”, The Popstar Pages, with a writing style that didn’t hold back.

He explained that the character “is based on a guy who really lived, but was never really famous”. He added: “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 [Robert DeNiro’s character in TaMartin Scorsesexi Driver] might be if he were a film critic.”

Legendary Hollywood venue Whisky A GoGo circa 1977
Legendary Hollywood venue Whisky A GoGo circa 1977. (Alamy/PA)

Characters aside, the year Tarantino chose to frame his final movie outing was far from insignificant.

It was during 1977 when audiences first glimpsed George Lucas’s Star Wars and Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind as the modern movie blockbuster was starting to take shape.

This is also a key period during which a new batch of auteur filmmakers, many of whom were birthed from Francis Ford Coppola and Lucas’s indie film company American Zoetrope, came to the forefront of pop culture.

By the end of the next decade, names like Spielberg, Coppola and Lucas themselves had become giants of cinema.

With the film now canned, it's unlikely we’ll see this world brought to life through Tarantino’s lens. However, we’re sure plot details for what might have been will continue to surface for some months.

Is Quentin Tarantino retiring?

Quentin Tarantino at a press conference in Rome to promote The Hateful Eight
The legendary director has long insisted he will retire after his 10th film. (Corbis via Getty Images)

That certainly seems to be his plan — but we now know that The Movie Critic won’t be the film Tarantino bows out on.

Over the years, numerous interviews have cited the director as being overly keen on leaving audiences wanting more and retiring before his movies start to feel out of date.

Speaking to Playboy in 2012 as per Entertainment Weekly, he teased: “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.

"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.”

A similar mindset was captured during a conversation with CNN, where Tarantino explained: “I’ve been doing it for 30 years, and it’s time to wrap up the show.

“Like I said I’m an entertainer. I want to leave you wanting more you know, and not just work and I don’t want to work to diminishing returns. I don’t want to become this old man who’s out of touch, when already I’m feeling a bit like an old man out of touch when it comes to the current movies that are out right now. And that’s what happens.”

Quentin Tarantino with Uma Thurman on the set of 2003 film Kill Bill Vol. 1
Tarantino with Uma Thurman on the set of 2003 film Kill Bill Vol. 1. (Miramax)

These quotes fuelled rumours about what his final movie could be. A Star Trek adventure swiftly emerged as one out-there possibility before giving way to the news that The Movie Critic would be Tarantino’s 10th and final movie.

In early 2023, Tarantino said he had already finished the script, with shooting for The Movie Critic set to take place later that same year. However, just to keep audiences on their toes, Tarantino also revealed that he currently has a 10-episode mini-series written and ready to go.

During a chat at Cannes Film Festival 2023, Tarantino doubled down on his promise to pack in filmmaking after The Movie Critic, saying he was “ending the filmography.” Having said that, he didn’t rule out directing other types of content like TV, short films or plays — so we may see his work on the small screen in the coming years.

Despite all of this chatter, news that The Movie Critic has ended up in the bin has only raised even more questions about what Tarantino’s final movie will be — and when we’ll get to see it.

The Movie Critic has reportedly been scrapped.