Quentin Tarantino shared some initial details about his upcoming film, “The Movie Critic,” on Thursday from Cannes — saying it centers on “a guy who really lived, but was never really famous, and used to write movie reviews for a porno rag.”
“There was this porno rag that had a really interesting movie page,” Tarantino told Deadline about a real-life film critic he said he encountered in his youth. “He wrote about mainstream movies and he was the second-string critic. I think he was a very good critic. He was as cynical as hell.”
Tarantino did not name the writer but likened his temperament to that of “early Howard Stern” and “Taxi Driver” protagonist Travis Bickle, whose red-flag-riddled journal foretold his murderous rampage in the Martin Scorsese film.
“Think about Travis’ diary entries,” Tarantino told Deadline.
Tarantino has been a lifelong fan of film criticism, hailing the late Pauline Kael as one of his film critic heroes. He also recently published a cinema-related memoir of his own.
The director told Deadline that the real-life critic who inspired his latest movie “cursed,” was “rude as hell” and even “used racial slurs,” but that the criticism he produced was “really funny.” Tarantino said the writer died in his late 30s and he suspects that it was because of “complications due to alcoholism.”
According to Tarantino, “The Movie Critic” is set in 1977 Southern California. He has yet to announce his leading man, but said he’s looking for an American actor in his 30s.
“I haven’t decided yet but it’s going to be somebody in the 35-year-old ball park,” he told Deadline, adding that he’ll be in Los Angeles in June to find his star. “It’ll definitely be a new leading man for me. I do have an idea of somebody I can imagine doing it really well.”
As for his insistence on having a U.S. actor play the lead role, he lamented the ubiquitous casting of Brits and Australians as Americans.
“I would say that ... the Americans gave up their own ground … When I look at ’70s cinema I want to see Robert De Niro, I want to see Al Pacino, I want to see Stacy Keach,” he told Deadline. “I want to see people like that reflecting the culture back to me.”
Tarantino has regularly claimed he’ll retire after his 10th film.