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Brad Pitt is set to reunite with Quentin Tarantino on the latter’s upcoming feature, The Movie Critic, Deadline is reporting. The actor and writer-director previously collaborated on 2009’s Inglourious Basterds and 2019’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The performer went on to win the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of violent stuntman Cliff Booth in the latter film.
Pitt also starred in 1993’s True Romance, which was penned by Tarantino. The romantic crime movie was helmed by Tony Scott and also features Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Dennis Hopper, Val Kilmer, Gary Oldman and Christopher Walken.
It hasn’t yet been announced which role Pitt will play The Movie Critic. There also isn’t any word if he even has a deal for the project in place yet.
Despite the lack of character details being released, Tarantino has called the film “epilogue-y.” The statement is believed to refer to the fact that he intends on the movie, which will be his 10th, being the final feature of his career.
The Movie Critic will reportedly be set in 1977, less than a decade after the events of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The comedy-drama, which is the latest feature that the filmmaker released, follows Pitt’s character of Cliff Booth as he thwarts an attack on actor Rick Dalton (Leonard DiCaprio) by Charles Manson’s (Damon Herriman) family of followers.
In The Movie Critic, Pitt is being considered to portray the titular character, Jim Sheldon, a fictional film critic. There’s speculation that suggests the titular character may draw inspiration from William Margold, an actual film critic.
Tarantino told Deadline’s Baz Bamigboye at the Cannes Film Festival in May that his inspiration for scribing The Movie Critic goes back to a job he had as a teen. At the time, he loaded adult magazines into a vending machine and emptied 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,” the BAFTA Award-winning writer told Bamigboye. There was one critic at the magazine that Tarantino liked, who penned snarky and smart as the second-string critic.
In his book Cinema Speculation, Tarantino referred to Margold as the “first-string film critic for the sex rag the Hollywood Press.” In the adult magazine, the critic “wrote about mainstream movies and he was the second-string critic,” the Golden Globe-winning filmmaker said.
“I think he was a very good critic. He was cynical as hell. His reviews were a cross between early Howard Stern and what Travis Bickle might be if he were a film critic. Think about Travis’ diary entries,” Tarantino added.
No details about how far along the deal for Pitt is on The Movie Critic, or when he could fit it into his schedule. He resumed work this week on Joseph Kosinski’s movie Formula One for Apple, which is believed to be filming for much of the year.
As a result, if Pitt is cast in The Movie Critic, it would shoot and be distributed sometime next year. Historically, Tarantino prefers to premiere his features at Cannes, where he won the Palme d’Or in 1994 for his breakout film Pulp Fiction. He also screened Inglourious Basterds, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and his director’s cut of Death Proof there.
It’s also currently unknown which studio will be distributing The Movie Critic. Tarantino released all of his films, except for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, with the Weinsteins, through their distribution companies Miramax, Dimension Films and the Weinstein Company.
Since the dissolution of the Weinstein Company, Tarantino has been a free agent. He made Once Upon a Time with Hollywood with Sony after being courted by every major Hollywood studio besides Disney. Sony currently appears be the frontrunner to reunite with the two-time Oscar-winning filmmaker to release The Movie Critic, which will be produced by Stacey Sher.
Tarantino has said he will retire from feature filmmaking after 10 projects, which would make The Movie Critic his final feature. While contemplating retirement from filmmaking, he has shown a keen inclination toward exploring various creative avenues.
During interviews, Tarantino has mentioned his potential interest in directing limited series or theatrical plays. In 2021, he even ventured into the world of literature by releasing his debut novel, which served as an adaptation of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.