The Lost, Unmade & Possible Future Films Of Quentin Tarantino

The Lost, Unmade & Possible Future Films Of Quentin Tarantino
The Lost, Unmade & Possible Future Films Of Quentin Tarantino

marks the 50th birthday of one of the most famous and followed film
directors working today. He’s a man who, a little over twenty years ago, gave a shot of adrenaline to the American independent film scene,
and today is an awards favorite and reliable box-office name, with his
most recent film having won two Oscars, earning Best Picture nomination as well, taking in over $400 million at the box office worldwide, making it by some distance his most
successful film to date. And if you’re his age or younger, he’s probably had a significant an affect on your cinematic education. Yes, Quentin Tarantino is a half-century old today, having
been born on March 27th, 1963.

a significant birthday for many reasons, but not least because in the
last few years Tarantino has started to suggest that he’s planning on
retiring from filmmaking by his 60th birthday (or by the time he’s made
his 10th film), saying “I’m really well versed on a lot of directors’
careers, you know, and when you look at those last five films when they
were past it, when they were too old, and they’re really out of touch
with the times… To me, it’s all about my filmography, and I want to go
out with a terrific filmography. [2007’s] ‘Death Proof‘ has got to be
the worst movie I ever make
… I do think one of those out-of-touch,
old, limp, flaccid-dick movies costs you three good movies as far as
your rating is concerned. It’s a grade-point average. I think I risk
failure every single time with the movies I do, and I haven’t fallen
into failure. Risking failure is not what I’m afraid of. Failing is what
I’m afraid of.”

with that in mind, we thought we’d celebrate QT’s happy day by taking a
look not at the eight films that you probably know by heart, but at the
ones that got away, and the ones that could still come. Given his tendency
towards loquaciousness, Tarantino’s never been shy about talking about
projects he’d like to make, be they passing ideas or something more
concrete, and so below, you’ll find a complete history of the what-ifs,
the what-might-bes and the long-gones of Tarantino’s directing career.
Whether any of them turn out to surface down the line remains to be seen
(the director hinted recently that his next picture might be “A
‘smaller’ film than ‘Django Unchained,’ in the vein of ‘Jackie Brown,'” which
doesn’t gel with most of the films below). But it’s certainly fun to
look over some of the possibilities. So check them out, and let us
know what you’d like to see Tarantino tackle next in the comments

Oh, and many happy returns, Mr. Tarantino.

“Killer Crow”
before “Inglourious Basterds” had hit theaters, talk had already started that the material that Tarantino had scrubbed from various drafts of the film over the
years, could lead to several new movies. Indeed, according to Eli Roth, the director “has an entire
universe planned out for ‘Inglourious Basterds,’… He even has two
sequels planned. He’s not necessarily going to make these movies. But he
has at least four or five stories centering on these characters that
span through the fifties and sixties. He knows exactly where these
characters are going.” The most preeminent of these possible
sequel/spin-offs seemed to be a prequel that involved “Aldo and Danny in
Italy with a troop of black soldiers.” A little later, Tarantino
that Brad Pitt was more keen on the idea than he was saying,  “If Brad will have his way, then it’ll happen.” 

But Tarantino has been talking
up the project more recently too, giving the prequel the name, and
suggesting it would close off the trilogy started by ‘Basterds’ and
‘Django.’ “There’s something about this that would suggest a trilogy. My
original idea for ‘Inglourious Basterds’ way back when was that this
[would be] a huge story that included the [smaller] story that you saw
in the film, but also followed a bunch of black troops, and they had
been f–ked over by the American military and kind of go apes–t. They
basically — the way Lt. Aldo Raines and the Basterds are having an Apache resistance — [the] black troops go on an Apache warpath and
kill a bunch of white soldiers and white officers on a military base and
are just making a warpath to Switzerland… I was going to do it as a
miniseries, and that was going to be one of the big storylines. When I
decided to try to turn it into a movie, that was a section I had to take
out to help tame my material. I have most of that written. It’s ready
to go; I just have to write the second half of it… That would be the
third of the trilogy. It would be [connected to] ‘Inglourious Basterds,’
too, because Inglourious Basterds are in it, but it is about the
soldiers. It would be called ‘Killer Crow‘ or something like that.”

John Brown Biopic/Another Slavery WesternThat
said, Tarantino may want to stay in the west before he goes back to
WWII. For as long as five years before “Django Unchained” was released,
Tarantino was talking about the idea of a slavery movie, and on “The Charlie
Rose Show
” in 2009, he mentioned the possibility of a biopic about abolitionist John Brown. “There is one [biopic] that I could be interested in, but it
would probably be one of the last movies I [ever make]. My favorite hero
in American history is John Brown. He’s my favorite American who ever
lived. He basically single-handedly started the road to end slavery and
the fact that he killed people to do it. He decided ‘If we start
spilling white blood, then they’re going to start getting the idea.'” 

 You’d think that “Django” might have scratched that itch, but the
director recently said that he’s not quite done with it, telling a BAFTA
Q&A that, “I’d like to do a couple more, dealing with the same
issue: but different story, different characters… I could think of
doing another western, actually.” So a Brown biopic, or another film
along the lines of “Django,” could still be on the table, though as he
says, it might not be until closer to his retirement target. It’s also
worth noting that Tarantino has mentioned the idea of making a film in
; ‘Django’ actor John Jarratt said last year “he wants to make
this Australian film, and I’ll keep kicking him until he does.”

A 1930s Gangster Movie
last two movies have seen him tackle two genres he’d been talking about
virtually since the start of his career — the WWII picture and the western. So could we see him scratching a new itch next? Maybe, and perhaps it might arrive in the form of a 1930s Warner Bros-type gangster picture.
Tarantino first raised the possibility at the Morelia Film Festival in
Mexico in 2009
, saying that he was thinking of “re-imagining” a crime
movie of that period. And he repeated that at BAFTA recently saying, “I
could conceive maybe someday doing a ’30s gangster picture, or something
like that.” It could just be another idea floating around, but it’s a
much more enticing one than a sequel, prequel or spin-off to something
he’s done before. And it could only be better than “Gangster Squad.”

The “Berlin Game” Trilogy
Tarantino has flirted with the spy movie more than once across his career, and it’s certainly a genre that feels most ripe for him to tackle. And Tarantino has raised the possibility of a British take on the genre based on a series of novels by Len Deighton, the author of “The Ipcress File.” He told the UK press just around the release of ‘Basterds,’ “I love England. It would be a wonderful life experience to have an excuse to work here for six or nine months. One of the things I am musing about doing is the trilogy of Len Deighton books, ‘Berlin Game,’ ‘Mexico Set‘ and ‘London Match.’ The story takes place in the Cold War and follows a spy name Bernard Samson. What is attractive is the really great characters and the wonderful opportunities of British and German casting.” (It’s worth noting that the novel has already appeared in a Tarantino film — Robert Forster‘s character is reading it in “Jackie Brown.”) Previously played by Ian Holm in a TV adaptation called “Game, Set & Match,” some have speculated that Tarantino could be thinking about casting Simon Pegg as Samson, who he said in the same interview he wanted to work with after scheduling didn’t work out on ‘Basterds’ (he was originally meant to play Michael Fassbender‘s role). But Tarantino hasn’t mentioned it once since, and given his feelings on adaptations, this was probably just a passing fancy. Still, he recently met with Tim Roth. Wishful thinking?

A Documentary On Harvey Weinstein
Tarantino has suggested of late that, when his retirement comes, he may spend much of his time writing books on film history. But a few years ago, he was flirting with a documentary, and one that lands closer to home than most; a film about his long time patron and distributor Harvey Weinstein. In the run up to the release of “Unauthorized: The Harvey Weinstein Project,’ a doc by Barry Avrich about the Miramax founder, the New York Times said that Tarantino was considering making a non-fiction film about his friend, confirmed by his publicist, who said the filmmaker was “unofficially kicking around the idea.” Given that Weinstein was probably wanting to try and play down attention on Avrich’s film, and that the idea has never been mentioned since, and while it may have been a distraction technique, but we’d still be fascinated to see Tarantino take on documentary filmmaking at some stage.

“Kill Bill Vol. 3”
of sequels, Tarantino has, even since the last “Kill Bill” landed nine
years back, refused to rule out the possibility of returning the story
of Beatrix/The Bride, saying even before “Vol. 2” of the plot: “Sofie
Fatale will get all of Bill’s money. She’ll raise Nikki (the daughter of
Vivica A. Fox‘s character), who’ll take on The Bride. Nikki deserves
her revenge every bit as much as The Bride deserved hers.” At one point, there was the idea of some animated
, and while shooting ‘Basterds,’ he raised a third “Kill Bill”
as a possibility to be his next project. He’s said in the past that he
wanted a ten year gap, which could mean it’s starting to come up on his
radar again, but the signs aren’t great. In 2009, he said, “there’s no
script; there are just ideas and notes” and he was recently more
, saying “I don’t know if there’s ever going to be a ‘Kill Bill
Vol. 3
.’ We’ll see, probably not though.” Still, you never know if he’s
going to change his mind. 

Double V Vega
Having long-since revealed that “Reservoir Dogs” thug Mr. Blonde or Vic Vega (Michael Madsen) and “Pulp Fiction” killer Vincent Vega (John Travolta) were brothers, Tarantino spent decades talking up a possible project, known as either “Double V Vega” or “The Vega Brothers,” that would team up to the two. Initially a prequel that would follow the two during Vincent’s time in Amsterdam, Tarantino held a torch for the project for years — even during press for “Kill Bill,” he claimed it was still very much a possibility. The age of the actors presented a problem, but Tarantino had a Plan B, telling telling Opie & Anthony in 2007 that “I actually came
up with a way I could have done it, even being older and dead where they
all had older brothers and both of their brothers got together because
the two guys died. And they wanted revenge or something like that.” But
he ultimately concluded “Now, [they’re] too old for that. It’s kind of
unlikely now.” Madsen talked it up as recently as 2010, telling a
morning show, “I’d be Vic Vega’s twin brother. [Travolta would] be
Vincent’s twin brother and we’re both on a flight from Los Angeles,
having just been released from prison, and neither one of us know that
we’re the twin brother of the other one and we’re both on our way back
to LA to avenge the death of our brothers.” Fun thought, but it still seems like this
one is pretty much dead in the ground.

“40 Lashes Less One”/Other Elmore Leonard projects
After the success of “Pulp Fiction,” Tarantino reportedly asked the Weinsteins to buy the rights to several novels by the “filet of the crime genre” Elmore Leonard, for potential future projects. There was “Rum Punch,” which Tarantino made into “Jackie Brown.” Then there was “Killshot,” which was eventually directed by John Madden, starring Diane Lane, Thomas Jane, Mickey Rourke and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Long-delayed, and something of a mess, it finally hit in 2008, with QT’s “executive producer” credit removed. Miramax also had “Bandits,” which didn’t seem to go anywhere (it’s unconnected to the 2001 Bruce Willis/Barry Levinson film), and “Freaky Deaky,” the rights to which reverted back to Leonard (a bad version, starring Christian Slater, Crispin Glover and Andy Dick, went straight to video last month). 

But it seems like the one that got closest to production was one of Leonard’s westerns, the 1972 novel, “40 Lashes Less One.” The book concerns two prisoners — an Apache and a black former soldier — that while on death row, are given a chance to be set free if they can hunt down and kill the five worst outlaws in the west (shades of “Kill Bill,” and now ‘Django’). In 2000, rumors were flying that Tarantino was clandestinely making the film in Mexico, and in May 2001, a vague post on QT’s former writing partner Roger Avary’s blog led people to think the film would be playing at Cannes. However, Cannes came and there was no sign of any Tarantino film. Soon the call came from his people to confirm that there was no such film in the works. That said, there was some fire where there was smoke. In 2007, Tarantino said he now owns the rights, had completed 20 pages of a script, and “still might do it sometime.” Whether that’s the case still is a bigger question. He may have scratched his western itch with “Django Unchained” (then again, maybe not; see below) and he told Charlie Rose in 2009 that he will never direct another adaptation, having felt in retrospect, slightly emotionally removed from “Jackie Brown” because it was not his own original work. If he changes his mind about that for anything, we’d guess it’ll be for another Leonard adaptation, but our gut says that this particular title is too close to his other work to become a priority.

“The Psychic”
his films have often been steeped in it, horror remains one genre that
Tarantino has never tackled. However, at one point he was considering a
remake of the ‘70s Italian psychological horror film by Lucio Fulci about a clairvoyant woman, inspired by visions, who
smashes open a section of wall in her husband’s home and finds a
skeleton behind it (the director samples the film’s theme in “Kill
”). It’s an idea QT bandied about with the intention of it starring
Jackie Brown” star Bridget Fonda. In an interview with AICN back in
2000, Tarantino talked about the status of the movie saying, “It’s a project in
the murky future. I don’t even own the rights to that stuff. It’s one of
those things where it’s like if somebody buys the rights to make it, I
won’t make it. They can totally fuck it up. If it’s meant to happen,
it’ll happen.” Since it’s been almost ten years, we’re going to assume
it wasn’t meant to happen.

“Casino Royale”
before Americans knew the name Daniel Craig, Tarantino (as he was
reminding all and sundry a few years back) had the idea to go back and
do a “small-scale, plot-driven” take on the only Ian Fleming novel that
hadn’t been properly adapted into a James Bond feature — “Casino
.” Even in the 1990s, there was loose talk about Tarantino taking it on, but it seemed to get
serious as he was finishing upKill Bill Vol. 2,” with the director going as far as to meet Pierce Brosnan (who he wanted to keep in the role), and
talking it up with Jay Leno on late night TV. But Brosnan officially departed the role in 2005,
and Tarantino declared his interest dead, later saying that the
producers were “‘afraid [Tarantino was] going to make it too good and
f**k the rest of the series.’ ” He also basically has said that the
producers stole his idea to retell, “Casino Royale.” Suffice to say
there was some bad blood here, and his chance at Bond has probably come
and gone, though it’s interesting to note that after years of hiring
journeymen filmmakers, Eon hired a bigger name in Sam Mendes, and were
rewarded with a film that made twice what any previous Bond had done.

“The Man From U.N.C.L.E”
feature adaptation of the James Bond-ish ‘60s spy series starring
Robert Vaughn was one of a few blockbuster-style projects Tarantino was
offered in his three years of downtime following the success of ‘Pulp.’
While he eventually turned them all down, it sounds like he may have
briefly entertained the idea of making “U.N.C.L.E.,” later saying he
thought of casting
George Clooney in the lead role of Napoleon Solo and
himself as Ilya Kuryakin.  Instead, he and Clooney teamed up for “From
Dusk Til Dawn
” and Tarantino made “Jackie Brown” his next project. Given
the facility he showed for accents he showed in ‘Django,’ it’s probably
best that Tarantino didn’t end up starring in the film, but clearly
someone else was listening: Steven Soderbergh cast Clooney as Solo in
his own version over a decade later, but the film fell apart. Guy
and Tom Cruise may yet bring it to the screen, though.  While
this one’s definitely off the list, clearly the espionage genre is
something that interests Tarantino, and he may yet get to it one day.

“Modesty Blaise”
since John Travolta was seen reading “Modesty Blaise” on the toilet in
Pulp Fiction,” Tarantino’s name has been linked to a possible
adaptation of the comic strip/adventure novel character starring an
exceptional young woman with many talents and a criminal past. But
there’s never quite been anything solid behind it, though Neil Gaiman at
one point
was commissioned to write a treatment for the project based on
the “I, Lucifer” novel — whether this was at the behest of QT or not
is unclear. Still Harvey Weinstein was serious enough about the idea
that, when Miramax were about to lose the rights, he commissoined a
quickie adaptation, shot in less than three weeks, which Tarantino lent
his name to: 2004’s “Quentin Tarantino Presents: My Name is Modesty.”Untitled Disaster Movie
doing press for “Kill Bill, Vol. 1” Tarantino discussed tackling yet
another ’70s genre — the disaster picture. Taking a cue from the famous
(or infamous) star-studded likes of “The Towering Inferno,” “The
Poseidon Adventure
” and of course the “Airport” series, Tarantino
that he would like to get as many of the QT players as possible
into a disaster movie of his own which he jokingly dubbed “Airport
.” The names mentioned were ‘Pulp Fiction’ and ‘Jackie Brown’-centric: “(John)
could be the pilot, Pam Grier the stewardess, Robert Forster,
Michael Madsen, Tim Roth, Harvey Keitel, Bridget Fonda
.” Though it
sounded like a joke at the time and Tarantino admitted as much, he also
remarked that he could see it happening and had discussed it with Samuel
L. Jackson
— who may have cannibalized the idea for “Snakes On a
.” It’s probably not happening ever, but protege Eli Roth has done
something not too different, starring and producing in earthquake movie

A Softcore Porn Movie
never spoken about by Tarantino himself, a rumored remake of Russ
‘s 1965 trash cinema classic “Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!” briefly became the talk of all the
gossip sites way, way back in the day for one reason: Britney Spears was supposedly slated to star. Though
both Spears and Tarantino’s camps denied her involvement and QT never
confirmed any plans to remake the film, he did say back in 2003 that he
was interested in making a sexploitation film. The director noted that
the main reason his films don’t have sex is because he’s too gentlemanly
to ask the young lasses to disrobe: “[I]f I were to write a real sex
film, the actresses would have to be down with it. Like those great
trampy actresses from Italy and Germany in the ’70s who were just like,
‘Roll the camera, motherfucker, here we go.’ That’d be so great.”
Tarantino even mentioned a possible premise to the Daily Telegraph in
2007, telling the paper “I came up with the idea of like a cool sex
movie that would take place in Stockholm, with a couple of Americans
visiting a couple of Swedish friends. Kind of like the girls in ‘Death
,’ just going out drinking, having a good time, hooking up.” But he
did say that there was something of a down side to the idea. “If I
actually do an erotic movie, I’m going to have to reveal what I find
sexy, what turns me on. And when it comes to sex in movies, it’s got to
be kind of kinky, because that’s what’s cinematic, that’s what’s fun.
Everything else is just – shagging. But my problem wouldn’t be revealing
myself. My problem would be doing a press tour talking about me
revealing myself. And how creepy that would be, how creepy the questions
would be.” Still, with Lars Von Trier releasing “The Nymphomaniac
later in the year, maybe Tarantino will be inspired to let his freak flag fly.

“Westworld”/”Green Lantern”
the years, producers have come to learn that Tarantino tends to
originate his own work, and if you send him scripts, there’s a good chance they won’t cross his desk or raise his interest. But the filmmakers says
that after “Death Proof” tanked, the offers became more prevalent,
naming a couple of projects in particular to the Daily Telegraph in 2007. “Now I’ve had a flop, all of a sudden this Tom Cruise script comes
in, [a remake of] ‘Westworld‘ comes in, all these remakes: ‘We’ll have
Quentin for this, because he’s for sale now. He’s on the ropes!'” the director said.  There’s no word on what the Cruise film could have been (“The Tourist,
The Hardy Men” and “The Matarese Circle” were all wooing the actor
around this time), but whatever it was, he didn’t read it, but
did take a look at the long-gestating “Westworld” script, produced by
Joel Silver, and long thought of as a vehicle for Arnold Schwarzenegger,
because he’d heard that Billy Ray‘s take was good. Tarantino admits
he considered it for a moment, but couldn’t bring himself to commit,
saying “Yes, I could think about it for a second. But could I spend
every day for the next year doing it? No way! No way. And I know that
about myself. I need to start with the blank page.” Another that seemed
to have surfaced around this time was “Green Lantern,” which Tarantino
 the studio got “in touch with me in the very, early, early, early
stages of,” but again, he wasn’t interested.

“Luke Cage”
from the very start of Tarantino’s career, but which only came to light
recently, was the possibility of the director being ahead of the curve,
and directing a movie about a Marvel superhero, long before “X-Men” and
Spider-Man” made the genre one of cinema’s biggest box-office draws. The director told
MTV recently
that “After ‘Reservoir Dogs,’ I had considered doing a
Luke Cage: Hero For Hire‘ movie.” For the uninitiated, Cage (also known
as “Power Man“) was one of Marvel’s first African-American heros,
released from prison in exchange for undergoing an experiemental
procedure that gave him skin like steel and super-strength. He goes on
to become a “hero for hire,” teaming up more often than not with martial
arts hero Iron Fist. Long before Marvel formed their own studio, the
rights to their characters were scattered, but Tarantino says he did
have meetings with both the producer who owned the rights at the time,
and even had a meeting with an actor. “Ed Pressman [producer of ‘The
,’ among others] owned it at that time and we talked about it. And I
talked with Larry Fishburne about being Luke Cage and he really liked  that idea.” However, Tarantino got swept up in “Pulp Fiction” instead,
and never looked back, now saying, “My kinda feeling is if I wanted to do
something like that, I’d create a super hero myself.”

And more: QT
also told David Frost in 2009 that he hoped he’d one day make a
children’s film, and a Howard Hawks-style screwball romantic comedy, but
neither seem to be particularly pressing right now. There’s also a few
debunked projects that have cropped up over the years. There were rumors
that the filmmaker was mulling the idea of making a “Friday the 13th
movie, dubbed “The Ultimate Jason Voorhees Movie,” but while Tarantino
admitted that he met with the studio, he called the idea that it was
“a complete lie.” There were also erroneous reports he was
making a Jimi Hendrix biopic, and a medieval movie that would have
starred Helen Mirren. In 2010, there were also reports that he was
circling a new version
of “The Shadow” at 20th Century Fox, but they
were swiftly denied
. The source was a good one, but it seems like they
might have jumped the gun. Tarantino may have been offered the gig, but
seemed to have no intention of doing it. – Oliver Lyttelton, Rodrigo Perez, Stephen Belden

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