“The Hateful Eight” is right around the corner, which means Quentin Tarantino is doing the press rounds, which often means juicy little tidbits about this, that and the other. Some of this may be familiar, some of this may not be, though judging by the Internet this week, everyone’s memory is about six months old. Regardless, it’s sort of old news about Quentin Tarantino wanting to make a Marvel movie, or specifically a “Luke Cage” movie — but maybe now that the character is on “Jessica Jones” and is about to get his own Netflix show, perhaps it's more of a thing now that some audiences are much more attuned to who he is.
Tarantino’s talked about this in the past several times and even revealed who he wanted to play Luke Cage: Laurence Fishburne. But on the Nerdist podcast this week, Tarantino revealed a few more details about why he dropped the project, which he was considering doing after “Pulp Fiction.” To hear it from the director, it was his friends that inadvertently talked him out of making the film.
"One of the things I wanted to do before ‘Pulp Fiction’ to some degree or another…one of the outside projects that I considered doing was doing a Luke Cage movie. I thought Larry Fishburne would have been a great Luke Cage and they were talking about Wesley Snipes," Tarantino explained, his pals reasoning that Luke Cage needed to be physically buff and that put Snipes ahead of Fishburne.
"In the case of Luke Cage, it was my comic geek friends that almost talked me out of it, because I thought Larry Fishburne back in the day would’ve been a great Luke Cage, and they were talking about Wesley Snipes," Tarantino said. "And I could see them both, but it was like ‘I think Fish would be better.’ And they go, ‘Yeah…he could work out and everything, but he doesn’t have the bod that Wesley Snipes has, and Luke Cage needs to have the bod.’"
But the arguing over the physical aspect of the character and the cast was enough that it apparently killed the filmmaker's excitement. "I literally was so turned off that that would be their both starting and ending point, that it literally put it in my head that, if I do a comic book movie, it should be an original character. It should be something I create rather than try to fit in."
The idea of Tarantino doing an original comic-book movie is probably appealing, especially to comic-book geeks. But with only two films left on a would-be 10-film plan, we’d suspect you’re never going to see that happen (though TV projects apparently don’t count towards that retirement schedule).
Additionally, we’ve all heard Tarantino talk about his mooted plans for a potential third "Kill Bill" film and animated spin-offs that will never happen. But to hear it from Tarantino, “Kill Bill” could have spanned five movies in total, and it was originally conceived of as a trilogy that he would revisit every 10 years.
“Back when it was going to be one movie, back when I was writing ‘Kill Bill,’ I thought I would do a ‘Kill Bill’ trilogy,” he said. “And then I would do one [at the time] and then do another one 10 years from now and then I’d pick it up with Uma [Thurman]’s character [10 years later] and then I’d do a third one ten years after that.”
And then there was, of course, plans for two spin-off films. “And then I planned on doing a sort of more immediate anime sequel of the Bride’s adventures where I could have done some of the stuff I wasn’t able to do in the movie sequences I left out,” he explained. And then there was even one more film idea which had a lot allusions to “Star Wars,” according to the director.
“I even had a whole idea for an anime feature about the origin of Bill,” he said. “And his whole story. And through the course of 'Kill Bill,' you meet the three different father figures: Hattori Hanzo, Pai Mei and Esteban Vihaio. And you would see how all that happened and you’d see how Bill got turned over to the dark side… Hattori Hanzo is sort of the Obi Wan Kenobi of [the series], but Pai Mai is the Darth Vader who’s more evil and takes him into this dark place.”
Why does Tarantino think of so many spin-offs and sequels and never see then through? According to the director, it’s easy to have enthusiasm for something in the early planning stages, but after you’ve shot a massively long film and then cut it into two different movies, sometimes you just creatively want to move on.
"After getting through 'Kill Bill' I’m fucking sick of it," he admitted. “Me and Uma are sick of each other, we’re sick of [the movie itself] and we need a break.” This appears to be the same problem with his "Inglourious Basterds" prequel and sequel ideas. “Oh, I can do a prequel with before [the events of this movie] happens and I could do after the war where Aldo and the Basterds are fighting the Klu Klux Klan,” he said.
Tarantino recently spoke about “Killer Crows,” his WWII/‘Inglourious’ spin-off as a possibility of the films he could still make, but it seems like Tarantino’s initial “we need a break/time to move on” instincts are on point.
For more Tarantino and Nerdist talk about “Speed Racer,” “Star Trek,” and more, listen below or check out another breakdown here.