Quentin Tarantino’s ‘The Movie Critic’ May Be His Last Film

For the past two years, director Quentin Tarantino has kept busy despite staying mum on his next film. Sure, maybe not the kind of busy fans have in mind—he’s mostly entertained himself by racking his brain for his own best film and joining the anti-Marvel debate with a tirade of his own. Still, fans have been on the edge of their seats, as the director’s next film may be the most highly anticipated project yet. According to Tarantino, it may very well be his last.

Tentatively titled The Movie Critic, Tarantino’s rumored final film is set to start filming this fall, The Hollywood Reporter revealed. Plot details have yet to be announced, but sources close to the project allege that it will be set in Los Angeles during the late 1970s, focusing on a female lead. At just 59 years old, Tarantino has yet to confirm if the film will be his final work, though he’s been threatening to retire for quite some time now. But this isn’t the first time we’ve seen celebrities “retire” and then continue to work. Jay-Z announced back in 2003 that The Black Album would be his final album. It certainly was not. David Letterman, Steven Soderbergh, Hayao Miyazaki, Nicki Minaj—all came back after “retiring.” It happens quite a lot, surprisingly. Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood was also almost Tarantino’s last film.

The director’s alleged retirement stems all the way back to an interview he did in 2012 with Playboy. Back then, when he was still promoting Django Unchained, he made the controversial comment that “directors don’t get better as they get older.” Stating that he didn’t “want to be an old-man filmmaker,” he continued, explaining his belief that, “Usually the worst films in their filmography are those last four at the end. I am all about my filmography, and one bad film f—s up three good ones… You stop when you stop, but in a fanciful world, 10 movies in my filmography would be nice. I’ve made seven. If I have a change of heart, if I come up with a new story, I could come back. But if I stop at 10, that would be okay as an artistic statement.”

Last November, in an interview with The Howard Stern Show, he once again brought up his decision to make his tenth film his last. “I’m going to make one more movie, but the thing is I’m not in any hurry now to write,” Tarantino mused. “[The business] is unrecognizable… What is a movie today? Is it just content on a streaming service? Did I do everything just to do that for my last movie?”

Rumored to follow the life of late movie critic Pauline Kael, The Movie Critic is looking to be Tarantino’s final artistic statement on film. That it may focus on the kind of people who have caused him the most grief over the course of his career may be his final icing on the cake, but we’ll have to wait and see. A movie about making movies, much like Once Upon a Time, is certainly a favorite among filmmakers looking to make their final, grand work in the medium. Knowing Tarantino, The Movie Critic certainly won’t be anything we expect it to be once it finally arrives.

Headshot of Josh Rosenberg

Assistant Editor

Josh Rosenberg is an Assistant Editor at Esquire, keeping a steady diet of one movie a day. His past work can be found at Spin, CBR, and on his personal blog at Roseandblog.com.

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