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After more than 30 years as one of the most imaginative and incendiary forces in American film, Quentin Tarantino is preparing for his victory lap. The Hollywood Reporter reports that a script for Tarantino’s tenth and final film, tentatively titled The Film Critic, is finished, with plans for him to direct this fall.
The Film Critic will be set in the 1970s, continuing Tarantino’s love letter to that era of film that began in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which took place in 1969. Tarantino’s love of cinema is well known—he owns Los Angeles’ New Beverly Cinema and published a book of film-related essays last November—so it only seems right that he would cap his filmography off with another project about the art form itself. THR noted it will have a female lead, which given the era and the subject, has led many to wonder if it might be at least loosely inspired by foundational cinema critic Pauline Kael, whom Tarantino has long expressed admiration for. Kael, who died in 2001, notably took a job at Paramount for Warren Beatty around the same time Tarantino’s script is allegedly set, only adding fuel to the theory.
Tarantino has long said that he would stop making films after his tenth, once explaining to Playboy that “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, and one bad film fucks up three good ones.”
Tarantino has won two Best Original Screenplay Academy Awards (for Pulp Fiction and Django Unchained), but has never taken home Best Director or Best Picture despite being nominated. A win in either category for The Film Critic would be a true Hollywood ending for the 59-year-old auteur.