Quentin Tarantino Possibly Directing ‘The Shadow’ [Updated]

Published 5 years ago by , Updated August 5th, 2010 at 11:13 am,

tarantino the shadow header Quentin Tarantino Possibly Directing The Shadow [Updated]

[Update: Sources are already claiming to have debunked this rumor.]

Quentin Tarantino’s work certainly proves the auspicious and polarizing filmmaker knows a thing or two about the evil lurking in the hearts of men- and if this recent bit of news is to be believed, he’ll soon be in good company. A trusted source for Pajiba claims that Tarantino is the latest director attached to a new feature film adaptation of The Shadow.

Back in June, Twilight: Eclipse‘s David Slade put an end to rumors suggesting he’d be calling the shots on The Shadow and admitted he couldn’t even get producer Sam Raimi to return his emails. Raimi himself was a contender for the director’s chair early on, but with his time being monopolized by dozens of other projects (including Oz, The Great & Powerful and World of Warcraft) that always seemed highly unlikely.

Yet, Tarantino is a similarly busy man and evidently his deal with The Shadow isn’t just for directing- he’d be a co-writer as well. I’m not sure if that would mean a revision on Siavash Farahani’s script or a page one rewrite, but I’m inclined to believe the latter.

While Tarantino’s been pretty non-committal in regards to his next project, he’s expressed interest in Kill Bill 3, an Inglourious Basterds prequel, a Vega Brothers movie, and even a western. If he has indeed decided to helm The Shadow it’s a pretty left-field decision. One thing is for certain, though – Quentin Tarantino’s The Shadow would probably be the furthest thing from a conventional comic book film and it’s open to debate whether or not that would be a good thing.

I adore the old Shadow radio programs. My dad passed on tapes of those broadcasts to me when I was a kid and I was completely enthralled with them. I went on to collect old novels and comics featuring the character and The Shadow is a big reason I became so infatuated with the film noir aesthetic and pulp crime fiction.  While the 1994 film starring Alec Baldwin did an admirable job of trying to blend together different elements from the character’s various interpretations, it was ultimately a huge letdown that barely did the property justice.

the shadow1 Quentin Tarantino Possibly Directing The Shadow [Updated]

Tarantino’s name would never have been on my wish-list of directors, but his biggest strength is that whether you love him or hate him, the guy is astoundingly well-versed in cinema. His ability to emulate different genres and styles is impressive and I have no doubt that if they decided to go back to The Shadow‘s pulp roots he would deliver an extremely authentic film (at least in its production design and tone).

He’s also masterful at staging creative and dynamic action sequences so there are certainly worse choices in that regard. I also love the way he casts his films with complete disregard for customary choices of who’s hot at the moment. He always puts together eclectic and amazing groups of people and I’m having a field day imagining his lineup for The Shadow.

On the other hand, as diverse as his films have been there are certain qualities they all share – qualities I’m not sure he’d be able to restrain himself from abusing on a project where they wouldn’t be appropriate. I’m referring mostly to his over-abundance of dialogue and his often unique sense of pacing – something that was extremely evident in both Death Proof and Inglourious Basterds. Now I enjoyed Basterds, but a free-form comic book movie isn’t something I’d be terribly excited to see.

UPDATE: The Tarantino Archives is claiming that they’ve debunked this rumor – although they offer any explanation as to how, exactly, they’ve done so. From their website:

“As the US west coast is having its morning coffee, probably surfing the interwebs for clarification on this, we as we are wrapping up Thursday already here in Europe, are happy to confirm that the rumors are completely false.”

Personally, I’m not going to believe anything until I hear from either Tarantino himself, or the person who actually is directing the next Shadow movie – but feel free to take this update for what it’s worth.

I suppose the bottom line is that I think Tarantino is definitely capable of delivering an amazing version of The Shadow - but it would be dependent on him being able to keep certain items inside his familiar bag of tricks.

Source: Pajiba.

TAGS: The shadow
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  1. Oh joy… so 30 minutes in we will get a 10 minute flip into the world of stick figures version of the film, all scenes will be strewn together with unrealsitic amounts of blood spewing from gunshot wounds and decapitations with a 35 minute Shakspearean soliloquy while the Shadow holds a gun to the head of the big baddie, while the baddie keeps interupting with “who are you talking to?”

    • I know Tarantino has a reputation for being incredibly violent and I’m not saying it’s undeserved but I think dismissing him based purely on that isn’t totally fair. For starters, he’s a filmmaker who understands how to use violence which is pretty rare. Not only has he shown the ability to pull back on the gore when it’s unnecessary (Jackie Brown has almost zero blood for example), when he does go over the top (Kill Bill) he’s aware he’s doing it and it’s sort of tongue in cheek.

      I don’t think his involvement suggests this would be Reservoir Dogs with some guy in a Shadow costume. He’s a pretty versatile director but his outspoken nature and personality have made him an easy target for criticism. I’m just saying, it’s not Eli Roth attached to the film. If this is true, he might surprise us. It wouldn’t be the first time.

      • I was just being sarcastic. Tarantino’s work has generally been 50/50 in my opinion. When he’s “trying” to be artsy he falls short (even wwhen it is tongue in cheek). His brilliance is in his subtleties. However, the dialog really sold Inglourious Basterds for me.
        All IMHO of course.

  2. Just what The Shadow needs, a film made up mostly of people sitting around talking for hours on end.

  3. Nice article Chris! I share your interest in this particular character and the earlier (1994) film was fairly well done, given the effects capabilities of the time, but hey, Quentin…if you happen to read ScreenRant (which I HIGHLY recommend…), I would like to plant a little seed here…Shoot it in black and white with the same filters and stark lighting they used in the ’30′s!!! If anyone could take us back to those days and still make use of existing technologies to make it an original and faithful take on the character simultaneously, you could! You have proven time and again that you are capable of capturing the essence of a given period…this would be a great opportunity to help us all “Harken back” to when cinema was youg, ideas were fresh, and a great film was the result of its participation by visionaries. Should you decide to take part in the Shadow, I have faith that you would show us something quite new…

    Once again Chris…a great article! Let’s (as fans) hope this pans out ;)

    • “If anyone could take us back to those days and still make use of existing technologies to make it an original and faithful take on the character simultaneously, you could! You have proven time and again that you are capable of capturing the essence of a given period…”

      I totally agree. =-)

  4. Strange. When I first saw the headline i yelled out NO!
    When I clicked on the headline before I read the report I spoke out YES D**N SKIPPY!

    It would be an interesting challenge for Tarintino to pull a PG-13 out of this, and I think sometimes a challenge for directors can be a good thing. But if Tarintino were on board regardless…?

    I’ll tell you right now. Mark My Words: he’ll be hunting down some of The Shadow pulp novels, like ‘Bells Of Doom’, and adapt one. Or he’ll throw in references to some of the old serials. You mention the casting potential. That’s off the hook.

  5. I love tarantino films. He knows how to drive a film with dialog which most directors can’t do. Movies now are so first second and third act and he broke that. Now as far as this if he does it i’ll be there for sure.

  6. I would also like to add that i hope he does somthing original like he always does (with the exception of jackie brown, but that’s elmore lenord and he totally changed alot) instead of this. His movies remind me of conversations i had when i was younger.

  7. Hmm… Tarantino is a passable director, but writing/directing an already established IP? I fear it will be less of a the Shadow movie and more of a tribute movie filled to the brim with 1930s movie references.

  8. I’m a big fan of the Alec Baldwin version, yes I know but I don’t care, but this could be great with Tarantino at the helm. His films range from brilliant (Pulp Fiction, Inglorious, Kill Bill) to entertaining (Resevoir Dogs, Jackie Brown, Death Proof). In my mind, he cannnot make something that I will not enjoy.

    However, his list of upcoming projects is longer than Spielbergs, so I doubt this will happen.

      • The problem with a Vega Brothers movie, if it had been made ten years ago then he might have gotten away with it. But can anyone really see Michael Masden and John Travolta doing that sorta movie now? As it was intended to be set before resevoir dogs.

        • it can be done with younger actors, which i’d be open to…just this once LOL

      • I absolutely agree that Death Proof is his weakest film, but its still a damn good watch, in fact it gets better with each viewing, and together with Planet Terror as was intended it makes perfect sense.

        And you have to see Basterds, its just epically brilliant, its not the story you expect to get but I loved every second. A truly masterful masterpiece.

          • i loved death proof lol, i mean what other movie do you get to see russell totally getting wrecked by chicks