By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com March 1, 2011 at 1:58AM
Project Is Not Surprisingly Set Up At The Weinstein Company; Is It The Director's Long-Mooted Slavery Project?
Update: AICN says that the Franco Nero project -- with Keith Carradine and Treat Williams -- is actually something else entirely, but that Christoph Waltz is attached to Tarantino's project.
Until yesterday, Quentin Tarantino had been keeping relative radio silence since the release of "Inglorious Basterds" -- the never-knowingly-prolific helmer had, for the most part, even refrained from talking up his slate of unmade projects, with a full year passing since we last heard any hints of what could be next from him, although a 1930s gangster movie, a KKK revenge tale and a Len Deighton adaptation were all rumored around the time of the release of his WW2 picture. Would we go another half-decade before seeing something new from the filmmaker?
But suddenly, it's all Tarantino, all the time; last week brought the news that the unrated, combined cut of "Kill Bill," entitled "Kill Bill: The Whole Bloody Affair," would begin to screen this month, and then yesterday, we stumbled across a statement from Italian actor Franco Nero, who suggested that he was working on a Spaghetti Western project with the director (along with Keith Carradine and Treat Williams). Tarantino's BFFs at Ain't It Cool then confirmed that the project was indeed real, that it was Tarantino's next project, and that Christoph Waltz is one of the leads.
Details are now beginning to flow out quickly, with Deadline reporting that they talked to Tarantino at The Weinstein Company's Oscar night party, and he confirmed he's completed a draft of the script, and will turn in a final version in a couple of months, with production to start afterward; and, unsuprisingly, the gestating film is set up at The Weinstein Company. Every directorial project of Tarantino's has been at either Miramax or The Weinstein Company, and the fates of the helmer and the super-producer are tied inextricably together; indeed, it was the commercial success of "Inglorious Basterds" that many saw as saving Weinstein's then-troubled company.
Tarantino told Deadline that, compared to the long-gestating scripts for "Kill Bill" and "Inglourious Basterds," the new film "just flowed out of him," which is certainly true -- it's an unusually speedy turnaround for the director, and we're glad to see him moving on. And what will the film itself involve?
Towards the end of the press tour for "Inglorious Basterds" the director talked about his desire to tackle the genre, although, like "Basterds" using it to give a spin on actual historical events, in this case, slavery: "I'd like to do a Western. But rather than set it in Texas, have it in slavery times. With that subject that everybody is afraid to deal with. Let's shine that light on ourselves. You could do a ponderous history lesson of slaves escaping on the Underground Railroad. Or, you could make a movie that would be exciting. Do it as an adventure. A spaghetti Western that takes place during that time. And I would call it 'A Southern'"
This wasn't the first time he'd raised the idea, telling the British press back in 2007 that "I want to explore something that really hasn't been done," he said at the time. "I want to do movies that deal with America's horrible past with slavery and stuff but do them like spaghetti westerns, not like big issue movies. I want to do them like they're genre films, but they deal with everything that America has never dealt with because it's ashamed of it, and other countries don't really deal with because they don't feel they have the right to."
Could it be that this project's come to fruition? Our gut says yes. The news seems to be coming thick and fast on this one, with many of the sites that are tight with Tarantino dropping hints on casting, so we're sure that we'll see further movement on this shortly. It's fair to say we're pretty excited.