Among the many The Lost, Unmade & Possible Future Films Of Quentin Tarantino that we detailed a couple of years back, one is an adaptation of Elmore Leonard‘s “Forty Lashes Less One.” The director is already clearly a big fan of the writer, bringing Leonard’s “Rum Punch” (aka “Jackie Brown“) to the big screen. And Tarantino has long talked about tackling ‘Lashes,’ and it’s been more than just a passing fancy. In 2007, he revealed that he had completed twenty pages of script and “still might do it sometime;” however, two years later, he informed Charlie Rose that he will never direct another adaptation. However, it would seem Tarantino has had a change of heart.
Chatting recently with Premiere magazine, the director reveals he still has the rights to the book, and that he now envisions it as a possible four- or six-hour miniseries on television. Certainly, the material lends itself to Tarantino’s current fixation with westerns, and comes with a racially charged setup as well. Here’s the book synopsis:
The hell called Yuma Prison can destroy the soul of any man. And it’s worse for those whose damning crime is the color of their skin. The law says Chiricahua Apache Raymond San Carlos and black-as-night former soldier Harold Jackson are murderers, and they’ll stay behind bars until they’re dead and rotting. But even in the worst place on Earth, there’s hope. And for two hard and hated inmates — first enemies, then allies by necessity — it waits at the end of a mad and violent contest … on a bloody trail that winds toward Arizona’s five most dangerous men.
So yeah, this sounds right up Tarantino’s alley in many respects. However, this isn’t the first time he’s thought about bringing a western to the small screen. In 2014, he revealed that he had 90 minutes of deleted scenes from “Django Unchained” which that he wanted to repackage into a four-hour version of the movie for cable TV. Not much has been heard of that idea since, so I wouldn’t count on ‘Forty Lashes’ suddenly materializing either. But they are intriguing prospects nonetheless.
“The Hateful Eight” opens on Christmas Day.