Quentin Tarantino has a silly loophole in his 10 movie rule

Quentin Tarantino has a silly loophole in his 10 movie rule

Quentin Tarantino has ditched The Movie Critic, once touted as the finale to his cinematic oeuvre — but not only is his 10-movie rule nonsensical, but there’s a loophole he could (and probably will) exploit. 

While many believed it’d be a revisionist biopic à la Once Upon a Time in Hollywood centered on Pauline Kael, Quentin Tarantino‘s project was set to revolve around “a guy who really lived but was never really famous, and he used to write movie reviews for a porno rag.” Brad Pitt would have reprised his role as Cliff Booth, and Tom Cruise was reportedly in talks to star.

Alas, for now, The Movie Critic’s dead, baby. He’s “changed his mind,” according to Deadline, now retreating to the drawing board to map out what shape his final film will take. 

In short, Tarantino’s dogmatic commitment to only making 10 movies boils down to how he wants people to view his legacy; “I want to go out while I’m still hard,” he earlier told Playboy. 

Tarantino is one of the greatest directors of all time, and while these pre-conceived worries about his creative potency could be viewed as modesty, it smacks of insecurity — especially when Martin Scorsese produced something like The Wolf of Wall Street at the age of 70

Here’s another thing: he’s already made 10 movies. Count them: Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill: Vol. 1, Kill Bill: Vol. 2, Death Proof, Inglorious Basterds, Django Unchained, The Hateful Eight, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. 

However, Tarantino views both Kill Bill films as one “bloody affair”, so despite being released separately, they count as a single film in his eyes. “Technically, we released it as two movies, and there is a closing and an opening credits [on each movie], but I made it as one movie, and I wrote it as one movie, [so it’s one movie],” he earlier told the CinemaBlend podcast. 

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He screened a complete edit of both movies together at the New Beverly Cinema in LA in 2021. It’s otherwise never been released to the public, and considering the vast majority already see Kill Bill as two films, his commitment to 10 movies seems even more arbitrary.

Nevertheless, if Tarantino made Kill Bill Vol. 3, he’d probably view it as one part of a larger whole… meaning he’d still have only made nine movies.

In 2023, he addressed rumors he was developing a third Kill Bill. “I don’t see that. My last film is about a film critic, a male critic. And he plays in the 70s,” he told DeMorgen, coming after years of teases and discussions with Uma Thurman (he also floated the idea of casting Stranger Things’ Maya Hawke as her daughter, likely fending off Vernita Green’s vengeful daughter). 

But what if he concluded Beatrix Kiddo’s story and returned to The Movie Critic down the line? It wouldn’t be the first time he’s shelved a project only to come back to it later: in 2014, he halted development of The Hateful Eight after the script was leaked before directing it for release the next year. 

Whatever Tarantino decides to do, he already has the world’s curiosity and attention. But his indecision is self-enforced; if you listen closely, you can hear Mr Pink playing the world’s smallest violin.  

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