Quentin Tarantino announced plans to scrap his upcoming film The Hateful Eight this week after the script was leaked to the internet. The scheduled follow-up to his 2012 film Django Unchained was also to be a return to the western genre according to the cult favorite filmmaker. Though this is the first time he has cancelled a film due to a script leak, it’s not his first abandoned project. The Hateful Eight joins five other notable projects in Quentin Tarantino’s scrap pile of films that we’ll sadly never see.
The oldest film in the pile was to be a prequel to his first two films Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. Rumored to be titled Double V Vega, the film was to follow the exploits of Vic (Michael Madsen) and Vincent (John Tarvolta) Vega during the latter’s time in Amsterdam. Tarantino had long talked about the possibility of the project all the way up into 2007. When interviewed on Opie & Anthony’s radio show, the filmmaker even discussed the idea of making it a sequel with both actors playing twin brothers to their dead counterparts and their quest for revenge, although he concluded that everyone’s still likely too old for it.
Though it may not have come through a script leak, Quentin Tarantino does have another western film joining The Hateful Eight in his scrap pile. After Jackie Brown,” his adaptation of the Elmore Leonard novel Rum Punch, Tarantino reportedly asked his long-time producers, the Weinsteins, to buy up the rights to several other works by the crime author, one of which was Leonard’s 1972 western novel Forty Lashes Less One. The story of two prisoners, an Apache chief and a former black solider, that are forced to track down the five most ruthless men in Arizona in order to save themselves from death row in Yuma Prison, material perfectly in tune with the filmmaker’s sensibilities. Tarantino’s former writing partner Roger Avery even stated on his blog that the film was being clandestinely made in Mexico and would premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in 2000 though the fest came and went without any real word. In 2007, Tarantino said that he now owns the rights to the book but is still uneasy about directing another adaptation of someone else’s material after feeling somewhat disconnected during the making of Jackie Brown.
Another possible adaptation that the filmmaker once heavily considered was to do an entry in the James Bond franchise. Before Sony and MGM decided to place on their bets in Daniel Craig’s corner, Tarantino had met several times to discuss the possibility of adapting Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale novel into a feature film. However, the director was rumored to have had some requests that caused the film to apart. Wanting to keep Pierce Brosnan in the lead role and shoot the film in black and white, Tarantino’s idea was to adapt the novel on a smaller scale than typically seen in a Bond film. After Brosnan left the series, the filmmaker said the producers brought in Craig and essentially stole his idea to adapt the novel claiming they were afraid and didn’t want to disrupt the rest of the series.
The final two films that join The Hateful Eight in Tarantino’s scrap pile are perhaps the most interesting in light of the news of the cancellation because they now stand the best potential of a possible revival. One is a sequel to his two-part epic opus Kill Bill. Taking place 15 years after the events of the first films, volumes three and four are rumored to follow Niki, the daughter of Vivica A Fox’s character, Vernita Green, and her quest for revenge while simultaneously telling the origin story of The Bride, Bill, and his mentors. The excitement was building for the possible follow-up, however, during the recent press junket for Django Unchained, the filmmaker stated he no longer has an interest in pursuing it.
The most recent addition to the scrap pile was to be a companion piece to Tarantino’s 2009 film Inglourious Basterds titled Killer Crow and was to even feature Brad Pitt’s character Aldo Raine as well as Eli Roth’s Donny Donowitz. The film is rumored to be about their journey throughout Italy with a troop of black soldiers on what the filmmaker referred to as an Apache warpath against a white American military outfit. Whether the status of either of these projects has changed now that Tarantino has tossed The Hateful Eight on to the scrap pile is unclear but the fact remains that no matter what the auspicious auteur chooses as his next, it will become a film that only Quentin Tarantino could make.
By Benjamin Murray