It was already disappointing to hear that Quentin Tarantino called off plans to make his intended tenth and final film as a director, The Movie CriticBut now we learn that while the movie would have been about a film critic for a seedy ’70s magazine, Brad Pitt would have starred in the film as Cliff Booth, his laconic stuntman character from Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

That’s the word from The Hollywood Reporter, who have a new article on exactly why the project fell apart after months of development and rewrites. According to their report, Pitt was specifically cast as Cliff Booth, and at that point “The Movie Critic may have morphed into something more akin to [Tarantino’s] novelization of Once Upon, which had a lot more of Booth’s story than was seen in the movie (Tarantino reportedly spent five years writing Once Upon as a novel before deciding to make it as a movie — again showing that he can pivot deep into a process).”

Brad Pitt in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
Columbia Pictures, Bona Film Group, Heyday Films, Visiona Romantica

READ MORE: The Reason Quentin Tarantino Canceled His Star Trek Movie

THR also notes that Tarantino was “toying with” Tarantino using The Movie Critic as a “goodbye meta-verse” that potentially could “bring back some of the stars of his earlier work to reprise their iconic characters in ‘movie within a movie’ moments, or to play fictional versions of themselves as the actors who played those characters. There could have also have been a movie theater location where a teenager based on Tarantino himself might have been a character.

If these details were supposed to make me even more depressed we’re not seeing this movie ... they are doing they’re job. If Tarantino really does intend to retire from directing after this next project, The Movie Critic sounds like it actually might have been a nice curtain call for his cinematic world that he’s been exploring for the last 30 years.

I keep hoping that Tarantino will have another change of heart — or maybe will turn The Movie Critic into a novel or a play or something else down the line. It sounds really interesting.

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