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03rd Aug 2023

Quentin Tarantino looking to have Bruce Willis star in his final movie

Steve Hopkins

‘I’ll be back before you can say Blueberry pie’

Quentin Tarantino reportedly wants to star Bruce Willis in his final movie.

The Pulp Fiction and Die Hard star retired from making movies last year after being diagnosed with aphasia, a condition that causes difficulty with language and speech, in March. The 67-year-old was later diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, an uncommon form of the disease that “causes problems with behaviour and language”.

Tarantino is rumoured to be looking at trying to cast Willis in a small role in what will be his tenth movie, The Movie Critic, The Express reported.

The pair shared the screen together in the 1994s cult classic, Pulp Fiction. Willis played boxer Butch Coolidge.

Three decades later the pair may unite in what will be Tarantino’s Hollywood swansong, and a cinematic tribute to action-hero Willis.

“Quentin hasn’t approached Bruce’s family yet – and will completely bow to their wishes if they say he’s too sick,” a production source told the outlet.

“If that’s the case, he aims to try to work a brief clip from one of Bruce’s many previous movies into the film.”

The source added: “His final few films all went straight to video or streaming because of his condition.

“Quentin wants to pay tribute to him with a quick glimpse for his legion of fans back on the big screen where he belongs.” The upcoming film in question will be set in the late 1970s in Southern California.

Tarantino told Deadline that The Movie Critic went into “pre-pre-production” in June and is “based on a guy who really lived, but was never really famous, and he used to write movie reviews for a porno rag”.

Inspired by his own personal experience as a teen working loading adult magazines into a vending machine, Tarantino recalled: “All the other stuff was too skanky to read but then there was this porno rag that had a really interesting movie page.

“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. 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: “But the porno rag critic was very, very funny. He was very rude, you know. He cursed. He used racial slurs. But his s*** was really funny.

“He was as rude as hell. He wrote like he was 55 but he was only in his early to mid-30s. He died in his late 30s. “It wasn’t clear for a while but now I’ve done some more research and I think it was it was complications due to alcoholism.”

Earlier reported suggested the movie will be set “in late 1970s Los Angeles with a female lead at its centre,” The Hollywood Reporter revealed.

Tarantino hasn’t mentioned the name of the critic or magazine, though he referenced his admiration for a “critic from the 70s named Jim Sheldon, who used to write for this porno rag” in a 2022 interview on the “ReelBlend” podcast.

Tarantino has also cited and quoted reviews from Jim Sheldon, whom he described as a critic for the Hollywood Press, on his “Video Archives Podcast.”

But because Tarantino has reportedly written for his New Beverly Cinema website using Jim Sheldon as a pseudonym, some have speculated this to be a fictional character inspired by the real person William Margold, This Week reported.

In his book “Cinema Speculation,” Tarantino described Margold as the “first-string film critic for the sex rag the ‘Hollywood Press.'”

Margold died in 2017, whereas Tarantino told Deadline that his movie is based on a critic that “died in his late thirties” due to alcoholism.

A post on the “Video Archives Podcast” website stressed that Margold is a “real person” and described Sheldon as an “enigmatic” personality.