Marco Mueller says Tarantino is “perhaps the only American auteur to be adored worldwide like a rock star.”

Quentin Tarantino has been tapped to head the jury of the 67th Venice Film Festival, the Biennale announced today.

The writer/director and sometimes actor first stepped boldly into the spotlight with 1992’s Reservoir Dogs. His follow up was the 1994 Palme d’Or winning Pulp Fiction, which also took the Oscar for best screenplay. The selection of Tarantino was made by Venice artistic director Marco Mueller whose press statement called the director “one of the most startling directors of today,” and a “point of reference….who is perhaps the only American auteur to be adored worldwide like a rock star.”

Tarantino’s most recent work, Inglorious Bastards, took eight Oscar nominations and won the best supporting actor award for Christoph Waltz.

Tarantino’s interest in indie films, the works of Japanese masters and older Italian genres, including B films and Spaghetti Westerns created the basis for his on-going relationship to the Venice Film Festival.

Tarantino’s previous presence on the Lido includes serving as “godfather” to a series of retrospectives, through the project instigated by Mueller on the “secret history of Italian cinema.” In 2004, Tarantino presented the retrospective Italian King of the B’s, which, focused on the stars, and directors of Italian B movies from the past and of which Tarantino is a known connoisseur. He followed up as ‘godfather’ to the 2007 retrospective on Spaghetti Westerns.

In 2008, he appeared in Miike Takashi’s Sukiyaki Western Django, which was in the Venice competition that year.

It’s not his first time on jury duty, he famously led the Cannes jury in 2004, when prizes controversially went to Fahrenheit 9/11 and Old Boy.

The Venice Film Festival runs September 1-11, 2010.