Quentin Tarantino's latest film may not dislodge Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens from the number one spot at the box-office, but his western The Hateful Eight is certainly the biggest film of the year from the perspective of die-hard Tarantino-ites the world over. It’s also physically the biggest movie of 2015, thanks to it having been shot on 70mm film stock and presented via a limited (and very costly) Roadshow in select cities.
Tarantino’s return to movie theatres is certainly a treat for all who can’t get enough of everything and anything the Oscar winning writer-director puts his mark on. In fact, as with any much beloved creative type, it’s a fair assumption to make that QT’s fanbase would absolutely love to see him bring even more projects to life on a regular basis.
At one point, this sort of wish could really only be viewed as an overzealous fan’s pipe dream. Fans could consider themselves lucky if their favourite filmmaker put out something new every 3-4 years. Times have changed though, and now with the so-called Golden Age of Television upon us, it isn’t unusual to see our favourite filmmakers creating via the small screen. Does this mean that Tarantino could start making TV?
Well nothing’s confirmed, but in an interview with France’s Premiere Magazine [h/p CinemaBlend], Tarantino expressed an interest in making the Elmore Leonard novel adaptation, Forty Lashes Less One. In the interview, Tarantino speculates that Leonard's book could well become his third western; he’s been wanting to adapt the story for quite some time, but he now envisages it more as a TV mini-series than a film, running 4 to 6 hours total.
The storyline for Forty Lashes Less One is pure Tarantino – having previously been sentenced to death, a black man and a Chiricahua Apache man are given a reprieve, provided they undertake a mission to track down five of Arizona’s most dangerous criminals. In other words, two bounty hunters roam the countryside in search of justice (and likely a wee bit of vengeance thrown in for good measure). Sound familiar?
This wouldn’t be the first time that QT adapted an Elmore Leonard novel, nor would it be the first time that he’s worked on a television series. Jackie Brown, his 1997 follow up to Pulp Fiction, was based on Leonard’s novel Rum Punch and Tarantino has previously directed episodes of CSI, as well as an episode each of E.R. and Jimmy Kimmel Live.
For fans, the idea of a Quentin Tarantino TV series is a thing of beauty. Those less enthusiastic about the idea might just see Forty Lashes Less One as a regurgitating of Django Unchained or Kill Bill. It’s also still a little early to surmise whether or not viewers will be interested in even more tales of the old west once The Hateful Eight is released this month. Three back to back stories of cowboys might be a bit much for even the most dedicated Tarantino fan.
Still, it’s hard to see Forty Lashes Less One as anything less than engaging. Tarantino was raised on television and movies and if there’s one thing he’s proven over the course of his career, it’s that he can take a premise and make it absolutely shine.
The Hateful 8 will be presented in 70mm in select U.S. theaters on December 25th, 2015, with a nationwide digital release following on January 8th, 2016.