Roger Ebert, the world's most legendary movie critic with a career longevity that no illness has seemed to conquer, announced in a blog post last night that he's receiving treatment for another bout of cancer and "must slow down" his voracious output. And, well, on the surface, that's enough to ruin your morning. It's a setback, certainly, for a man who has fought through so much, and taught us so much about the joy of film — and life. But when you move beyond the initial worry, it's actually not surprising that he's scaling things back a bit — this is also man who has worked harder than ever as a sick man, whose exhaustive output of movie reviews and tweets and social commentary on his blog has only expanded since he was diagnosed with cancermore than a decade ago. As Ebert himself points out, he wrote the most reviews he's ever written in a calendar year (306) in 2012, so he'll keep writing this year, but it's time to scale back. There is a silver lining, for Ebert at least: "What's more, I'll be able at last to do what I've always fantasized about doing: reviewing only the movies I want to review," he writes. In other words: no more Deuce Bigalow.
Ebert also plans to keep up his blog, his annual movie festival, and countless other wonderful things. He's launching a new website next week that will archive all of the reviews he's written for the Chicago Sun-Times. He's also debating writing a new book. Oh, and he's going to try and revive At the Movies via Kickstarter.