Quentin Tarantino’s disdain for “Natural Born Killers,” the movie Oliver Stone made from the script he sold to the director, has become well-known in the 27 years since it was released. Though still the story of psychopathic killers Mickey and Mallory Knox (Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis), the script was heavily revised by Stone, along with screenwriter David Veloz, and associate producer Richard Rutowski, with Tarantino ending up with a story credit.
In a recent, wide-ranging podcast interview with “Billions” co-creator and showrunner Brian Koppelman (director of 2009’s “Solitary Man”), Tarantino opened up about his negative feelings toward the film, which were first prompted by Koppelman himself. (Via The Playlist.)
Koppelman said he “hated it so much because what you ended up doing with Honey Bunny [in ‘Pulp Fiction’], the crime as a sacrament of love, is in your script of ‘Natural Born Killers.’ In fact, it’s what the whole fucking thing is about and that doesn’t exist in Oliver’s film.”
“No, not at all. Not that I’ve seen it all from beginning to end,” Tarantino said.
Koppelman said he “walked out” and was “so insulted that this genius, I love his movies, Oliver Stone, so fundamentally misread why your script that I had read two years before mattered so much.”
Tarantino said, “One of the things about that script in particular is that I was trying to make it on the page, so when you read it, you saw the movie, and it was like, why didn’t he do at least have of that? It was, like, done for him.”
Timed to the 25th anniversary of the movie in 2019, Oliver Stone broke it down in an interview with IndieWire: “[Quentin Tarantino] wrote the original script, and we bought it. It was all done legally. A lot of money was paid. His opinion, yeah he didn’t care for it, but I don’t know if he ever saw it. He went around and said that and I don’t think it was the right thing to do. But that was one of my many problems. We did well in spite of it all,” Stone said.