An Inglourious Basterds spin-off could have happened, either as a film or miniseries, but like many other Quentin Tarantino projects, it was left behind. Quentin Tarantino’s 2009 film Inglourious Basterds offered a look at what could have happened in an alternate timeline where a group called “The Basterds” was tasked with killing none other than Adolf Hitler. All that, of course, with Tarantino’s signature level of violence and unique narrative.
Inglourious Basterds followed two plots to assassinate the Nazi leader: one was the Basterds’ plan, led by Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt), and the other one was Shosanna Dreyfus’ (Mélanie Laurent) plan, who wanted revenge after SS colonel Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz) killed her family. A filmmaker like Tarantino surely has to do numerous script treatments before reaching that final story, and that was the case with Inglourious Basterds, which originally featured another plot in addition to the one that made it to the big screen.
Tarantino had to get rid of that part of the story because the film was “too big” and didn’t even feel like a movie, but more like a miniseries. In the end, he didn’t go back to that scrapped Inglourious Basterds material even though he teased a few years ago that he would just have to write the second half of it and it would be ready to go. So, what happened to that potential Inglourious Basterds spin-off and what was it about?
Inglourious Basterds Spin-Off Would Have Focused On Black Troops
In an interview with The Root (via IndieWire) back in 2012, Tarantino explained that Inglourious Basterds originally included a story that followed “a bunch of black troops” that were done wrong by the American military and, very much like the Basterds, were ready for revenge. Tarantino went on to explain that, just like Aldo Raine and the Basterds were having an “Apache resistance”, these troops were going to go on an “Apache warpath and kill a bunch of white soldiers and white officers on a military base,” making their way to Switzerland. In a separate interview (via CinemaBlend), Tarantino shared that the troops would have ended up meeting the Basterds, thus bringing the two storylines together. He even shared a tentative title for the story: Killer Crow, and it would have been the third entry in the Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained trilogy.
Why Killer Crow Never Happened
Three years after Inglourious Basterds, Tarantino came back with Django Unchained, followed three years later by The Hateful Eight. Tarantino finished the script for Django Unchained and handed it in to the production company in 2011, and then moved forward with The Hateful Eight in 2014, so there wasn’t really much time for him to revisit Killer Crow and develop it. He went on to work on another film telling an alternate version of real-life events: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which used Sharon Tate’s murder as one of its stories. There’s no concrete reason as to why Killer Crow hasn’t been made (or if it will ever be), but given that Tarantino has moved on to other projects, it probably has to do with him focusing on other ideas – although it’s quite possible that he just isn’t feeling the story anymore. There’s also the issue of time: ten years have already passed since Inglourious Basterds was released, and the remaining Basterds don’t look like they did back then anymore, so that’s probably another obstacle for the project - as Tarantino wouldn't probably be on board for the current trend of de-aging visual effects.