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Ennio Morricone Denies Calling Quentin Tarantino a ‘Cretin,’ Threatens Legal Action Against Playboy Germany

Playboy Germany published an interview featuring the inflammatory comments, but in a new statement, Morricone said that interview never took place.

Italian composer Ennio Morricone, right, poses alongside director Quentin Tarantino after receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, in Los Angeles. Morricone is nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Score in Sunday's Oscars ceremony for Tarantino's film "The Hateful EightEnnio Morricone Honored With a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Los Angeles, USA - 26 Feb 2016

Quentin Tarantino and Ennio Morricone

Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

UPDATE #2: Playboy Germany is standing by its initial interview, which it says took place on June 30. Here is the company’s statement:

“We are surprised that composer Ennio Morricone denies giving an interview to German Playboy. In fact, the conversation took place on June 30, 2018, at his estate in Rome. The interview, about the concert organizer Semmel Concerts, which was also present at the interview, had been agreed to with German Playboy. We also cannot understand that parts of the published statements were apparently not found to have been accurate.”

UPDATE: Ennio Morricone has denied participating in an interview with Playboy Germany in which he is quoted as calling Quentin Tarantino a “cretin” whose movies are “trash.” Read his full statement, in which he praises Tarantino and threatens legal action with Playboy Germany:

It has come to my attention that Playboy Germany has come out with an article in which I have stated extremely negative comments about Tarantino and his films, and the Academy. I have never expressed any negative statements about the Academy, Quentin, or his films — and certainly do not consider his films garbage. I have given a mandate to my lawyer in Italy to take civil and penal action.

I consider Tarantino a great director. I am very fond of my collaboration with him and the relationship we have developed during the time we have spent together. He is courageous and has an enormous personality. I credit our collaboration responsible for getting me an Oscar, which is for sure one of the greatest acknowledgments of my career, and I am forever grateful for the opportunity to compose music for his film.

In London, during a press conference in front of Tarantino, I clearly stated that I consider Quentin one of the greatest directors of this time, and I would never speak poorly of the Academy – an important institution that has given to me two of the most important acknowledgments of my career.

Ennio Morricone

Playboy Germany has yet to respond to requests for comment.

EARLIER: Ennio Morricone continues to have a mixed view of Quentin Tarantino, with whom he collaborated on “The Hateful Eight” — and finally won a competitive Academy Award in the process. The famed composer called out the filmmaker in a new Playboy Germany interview, the translation of which (courtesy of Google) paints an unflattering view: Morricone referred to Tarantino as a “cretin” whose movies are “trash.”

“The man is a cretin,” Morricone said. “He just steals from others and puts it together again. There is nothing original about that. And he is not a director either. So not comparable to real Hollywood greats like John Huston, Alfred Hitchcock or Billy Wilder. They were great. Tarantino is just cooking up old stuff.” He goes on to admit he isn’t a fan of Tarantino’s films, calling them “trash”; Tarantino was present when Morricone received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in February 2016.

Part of the problem stems from their working relationship: “He calls out of nowhere and then wants to have a finished film score within days, which is impossible. Which makes me crazy!” Morricone said. “Because that’s just not possible. And I do not go there anymore. I told him that last time. But next time I will be tough. Then he can kiss me.”

Among the Italian composer’s best-known scores are “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” “Days of Heaven,” and “Once Upon a Time in the West,” among many others. Today marks his 90th birthday.

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