EXCLUSIVE: Quentin Tarantino will be reuniting for the third time with Brad Pitt in the director’s final film The Movie Critic. Unclear if Pitt will play the title character, but I think he is. Last time out, Pitt won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for 2019’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and he also starred for Tarantino in Inglourious Basterds. I also think Sony Pictures will be back as the studio distributing the film, with Stacey Sher producing and a 2025 release eyed.
Tarantino has been circumspect on the last movie, but he opened up a bit to Deadline’s Baz Bamigboye at Cannes in May, when the filmmaker presided over a screening of Rolling Thunder. He said at the time the movie was set in California the year of that film’s release, which was 1977, and that it “is based on a guy who really lived but was never really famous, and he used to write movie reviews for a porno rag.”
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The inspiration goes back to a job Tarantino had as a teen, loading porn magazines into a vending machine and emptying quarters out of the cash dispenser. “All the other stuff was too skanky to read, but then there was this porno rag that had a really interesting movie page,” he told Bamigboye. There was one critic in particular Tarantino liked, who wrote snarky and smart as the second-string critic.
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I’d heard Tarantino did quite a bit of rewriting since then, so we’ll see. I read his Once Upon a Time in Hollywood novelization, and it fleshed out the story of Pitt’s character Cliff Booth, who, it turned out, was as much a cinema fan as he was a stone killer when the stuntman work dried up. If Booth went from stuntman to film critic, that would make a lot of hardcore fans happy; like many of Tarantino’s screen creations, he’s too good a character to let go of.
The pieces are still falling in place on the film, including where it will be distributed. But after the bang-up job Sony did on Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, including forgoing distribution in China and supporting Tarantino’s refusal to excise the Bruce Lee bout with Cliff Booth, it isn’t too much to imagine Tarantino stays in the fold. Stay tuned.
Pitt is repped by CAA and Brillstein.
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