While he didn’t discuss it during yesterday’s “The Hateful Eight” press conference in New York City, Quentin Tarantino has again mentioned his possible plan to retire from filmmaking after ten movies on the Bret Easton Ellis podcast (listen to it here). Tarantino reiterated therein that he wanted to go out on top with a great film, but also cautioned that he could go to eleven or more if number ten didn’t land with the desired bang. Tarantino said he had two more films to go and “4 1/2 ideas” that he could potentially transform into final, would-be movies.
What could they be? During the aforementioned press conference, Tarantino touched upon at least four different ideas (which may or not be the same ones he was referencing on Ellis’ podcast). “The Hateful Eight” filmmaker reiterated the idea of extending his Western fetish into a trilogy by making a TV mini-series version of Elmore Leonard’s “Forty Lashes Less One.”
“The third Western could actually be a TV thing,” he said. “I’ve owned the rights for a while —I get them and I lose them and then I get them. This piece which I think really demands that I make it which is Elmore Leonard book called ’Forty Lashes Less One.’ I actually think if you’re going to call yourself a Western director today, you need to do at least three [films]. And I would really like to do [the Leonard book] as a mini-series, like an hour an episode, four or five hours —I’d write and direct it all. And it’s right along the lines of ‘Django [Unchained]’ and ‘Hateful Eight,’ as it deals with race and it all takes place in a territorial prison. It’s a really good book and I’ve always wanted to tell that story, so we’ll see.”
While he had recently crossed off “Killer Crow” from his potential list —the “Inglourious Basterds” spin-off/sequel that he had talked about in the past— Tarantino said, “who knows, I could still [make] that” when I spoke to him after the press conference.
I had asked about the original version of “Inglourious Basterds” which Tarantino started writing before “Kill Bill,” but passed on, because it had grown into something so large he once debated making it as a mini-series. I was always curious as to how different the original ‘90s version of “Inglourious Basterds” was, and if he’d ever release that original long draft.
It turns out that “Killer Crow,” which he called “Killer Crows,” was part of that original long draft and pretty much what he had excised out of the original version. “The thing is,” Tarantino answered, “the huge stuff that I took out could make its own movie, following a platoon of black troops that were court-martialed and they escape. They are in France, they are going to be hung in London and their whole thing is to get to Switzerland. And they end up getting into an adventure and they meet the Basterds, so I ended up taking all that out,” he said. “So I could still do that. I’m not done with it. It’s the closest thing that I have which is a big piece of material that hasn’t been done before. And I would still need to end it and relook at the whole thing again, but that could happen.”
When the press conference was over, the event turned into a post-press-conference, in which Tarantino took more questions from journalists. During this period, Tarantino also discussed two more ideas, and or at least, crossed one genre off his list.
Asked if he would ever make a pure horror film, the director said he really had no desire to do so. “I don’t know. I did do my little deconstruction on the slasher movie with [‘Death Proof‘], but I don’t think I have the right kind of temperament to do something like ‘The Exorcist,’ that is all about one tone of dread carrying through,” he said. “I like breaking up [tones] a little bit. If I were really going to do a horror film, it would something like [shifting tones], but I honestly don’t think I have the right temperament. I like going up and down and up and down and I think that would take away from the horror.”
Lastly, when asked if there was a genre he hadn’t tackled, Tarantino brought up the long-mooted idea of a period gangster flick. “It would be fun to do a ‘30s gangster movie, like ‘Bonnie And Clyde’ or ‘Dillinger,’ with the tommy guns and that kind of thing. That’s something I haven’t done and that would be cool.”
So if Tarantino thinks he has 4 1/2 ideas left for movies, this is no way confirms that the aforementioned four ideas are on his list. But presumably, at least one of them is (and I’d hazard a guess the Leonard adaptation is one). For all we know, he’s keen on something he didn’t mention in the press conference (and considering his sequel track record, I’d probably bet against “Kill Bill 3,” especially if he’s considering retirement and would like to try new things).
Thoughts? If there will only be two films left to come from Tarantino —and who knows if he sticks to that; look what happened with Steven Soderbergh — what would you like to see? “The Hateful Eight” opens December 25th in 70mm and opens wide on December 31st.