8 Interesting Things We Learned From Quentin Tarantino's Must-Read Interview

8 Interesting Things We Learned From Quentin Tarantino's Must-Read Interview

Aug 24, 2015

In a great new interview at Vulture that everyone must read in full, Quentin Tarantino talks about everything from his favorite TV shows and copycats of his work to the contemporary relevance of his latest, The Hateful Eight, and which big-budget Hollywood movies he wishes he made. Here are the most important things we learned:

1. The Hateful Eight will accidentally feel contemporary

Although he says he wasn't trying to make the movie contemporary "in any way, shape or form," Tarantino recognizes that the 19th century-set story will unintentionally seem to be about the present. "Finally, the issue of white supremacy is being talked about and dealt with. And it’s what the movie’s about," he said, in relation to what's happening in Baltimore and Ferguson. "It just happens to be timely right now. We’re not trying to make it timely. It is timely. I love the fact that people are talking and dealing with the institutional racism that has existed in this country and been ignored."

 

2. He would have cast Jennifer Lawrence in The Hateful Eight if she was older

In the interview, Tarantino explains his casting decisions for his upcoming movie with extra attention on why he went with Jennifer Jason Leigh for the one female role of Daisy. Apparently he might have gone with another Jennifer if he didn't think the character had to be older. "I could have seen Jennifer Lawrence doing a good job with the role," he confessed. "I’m a very big fan of hers. I think she could end up being another little Bette Davis if she keeps on going the way she’s going. I think her work with David O. Russell is very reminiscent of William Wyler and Bette Davis’s. Having said that, though, Daisy should be a little older. She should fit in with the guys."

 

3. He isn't worried about big movie franchises and the superhero glut

"You can talk about Transformers now, but you could talk about the Planet of the Apes movies and James Bond when I was a little kid — and I couldn’t wait to see those. Actually, when we’re done here, I’m going to go see Guy Ritchie’s The Man From U.N.C.L.E.," he stated, in response to Steven Spielberg and George Lucas's pessimism about the future of cinema. "I’ve been reading comic books since I was a kid, and I’ve had my own Marvel Universe obsessions for years. So I don’t really have a problem with the whole superhero thing right now, except I wish I didn’t have to wait until my 50s for this to be the dominant genre."

 

4. There are two big Hollywood movies he wishes he could have directed

After the success of Reservoir Dogs, Tarantino was offered Men in Black and Speed. After the disappointing box office of Grindhouse, he was offered Green LanternThe Man From U.N.C.L.E. and Westworld. But he's never wanted to be a director for hire. "Truthfully, I'd go see a Westworld movie made by me," he admitted, even though he obviously turned it down. As for what he missed out on in the '90s: "I could have imagined doing the first Scream. The Weinsteins were trying to get Robert Rodriguez to do it. I don’t even think they thought I would be interested. I actually didn’t care for Wes Craven’s direction of it. I thought he was the iron chain attached to its ankle that kept it earthbound and stopped it from going to the moon."

5. He thinks most of today's good movies won't last as cinema classics

Regarding today's alternatives to blockbusters, he can list at least 20 good movies per year with maybe one annual title being a masterpiece, but he admits the general output isn't as great as it was in the past. "I don’t know if they have the staying power that some of the movies of the ’90s and the ’70s did. I don’t know if we’re going to be talking about The Town or The Kids Are All Right or An Education 20 or 30 years from now. Notes on a Scandal is another one. Philomena. Half of these Cate Blanchett movies — they’re all just like these arty things. I’m not saying they’re bad movies, but I don’t think most of them have a shelf life. But The Fighter or American Hustle — those will be watched in 30 years."

 

6. He only has two movies for his top 20 of 2015 so far

Due to his attention being on making The Hateful Eight, he hasn't been able to see much, but Tarantino did mention two favorite movies among the 2015 releases he has had a chance to check out. "I loved Kingsman. I really liked It Follows," he stated. "It was the best premise I’ve seen in a horror film in a long, long, long time. It’s one of those movies that’s so good you get mad at it for not being great." Regarding where It Follows falters: "He could have kept his mythology straight. He broke his mythology left, right, and center."

7. He also only has two favorite movies that imitated his early work

He doesn't presume to know what movies and TV shows are directly influenced by his own work, though he also partly likes to believe everything is influenced by him. As for his favorites in the latter category, "The one I thought was the best was by this director who never did anything else, C. M. Talkington, who did that movie Love and a .45. And there’s a really terrific Hong Kong movie called Too Many Ways to Be No. 1." He is happy to be an influencer, either way. "That’s great. That means I’m doing my job," he said. "Before I ever made a movie, my mission statement was that I wanted to make movies that, if young people saw them, it would make them want to make movies. That is one thing I can definitely say I’ve done."

 

8. Most of the potential movies he's talked about doing are unlikely if not dead

Tarantino confirmed that he isn't going to get to The Vega Brothers before retiring. Same goes for the Django Unchained crossover with Zorro. "I don’t think I’m going to do Killer Crow anymore," he admitted, about the previously proposed Inglorious Basterds spinoff about African-American soldiers being screwed over by the US military, "but that’s the only one that could possibly be done." As for Kill Bill 3: "It's not off the table, but we'll see."

 

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