Quentin Tarantino has offered Paul Walter Hauser the lead role in his next film The Movie Critic, according to reports.
As reported by Hollywood insider Daniel Richtman (via World Of Reel), Hauser is said to have been offered the lead role prior to the Hollywood actors’ strike – which has halted development on the project.
It’s believed Hauser is lined up to play fictional film critic Jim Sheldon, who is speculated to be based on William Margold – a real life critic who Tarantino described in his book Cinema Speculation as the “first-string film critic for the sex rag the Hollywood Press”.
Tarantino has reportedly been writing under the pseudonym of Jim Sheldon on the New Beverly Cinema website, where the pen name is described as writing for the Hollywood Press.
Hauser is best known for supporting roles in I, Tonya, BlacKkKlansman, Late Night, Da 5 Bloods and Cruella. He also played the title character in Clint Eastwood’s 2019 film Richard Jewell.
Most recently, he won a Golden Globe for his performance as suspected serial killer Larry Hall in the 2022 Apple TV+ miniseries Black Bird, opposite Taron Egerton.
Speaking to Deadline earlier this year about The Movie Critic, Tarantino said the project – set in Southern California in 1977 – would be based on a real-life critic for a porno magazine.
“He wrote about mainstream movies and he was the second-string critic,” the director 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.”
During the interview, Tarantino also noted he would be looking for a male American actor in his mid-30s for the lead role. Hauser is an American actor, aged 36.
Earlier this year, reports claimed Tarantino wants to give Bruce Willis his last-ever film appearance in the project, following the actor’s frontotemporal dementia diagnosis.