Quentin Tarantino may not have made it onto the stage at last week’s Oscar ceremony, but that doesn’t mean he’s taking a breather from the spotlight: The director is defending the Kill Bill franchise against a lawsuit and is also reportedly considering tackling a documentary about Harvey Weinstein – oh, and just in case you were wondering, he’s not going to be voicing a Smurf.
As the name suggests, Unauthorized: The Harvey Weinstein Project is an unauthorized film about Miramax creator and Hollywood heavyweight Harvey Weinstein, to be directed and produced by Barry Avrich, best known for his hard-hitting documentary The Last Mogul, which was about Lew R. Wasserman. However, the production has hit a major road block – Tarantino might already be considering a similar project.
According to the New York Times:
“Mr. Weinstein told Mr. Avrich that Quentin Tarantino was considering a competing project that would chronicle Mr. Weinstein’s professional life, which has ranged from work as a concert promoter in Buffalo, through the heyday of Miramax, which released hits like “Pulp Fiction” and “Shakespeare in Love,” and beyond.”
The story isn’t entirely simple conjecture either, as a spokesperson for Tarantino admitted that the director and the Weinsteins have been “unofficially kicking around the idea.”
It’s expected that Avrich’s vision for the Weinstein film would focus on a similar approach to The Last Mogul – especially considering the film’s proposal describes, “a powerful, uncensored account of a brilliant, feared, charming and yet loathsome character.” According to Avrich, the Weinsteins haven’t taken any kid of legal action yet; though the director is gearing up for a fight:
“If some of Harvey Weinstein’s lawyers find something to sue me about in this film, I say, ‘Bring it on.’”
Tarantino (and Harvey Weinstein via Miramax) is also battling a lawsuit of his own. According to TMZ, Dannez Hunter is claiming that the Kill Bill franchise was originally his idea – as he had submitted a similar treatment to Miramax – prior to the development of Kill Bill – about a character named Ren who witnesses her mother’s brutal murder, along with other details that Hunter alleges appear in both stories.
Hunter then goes on to undermine the credibility of his claims (or at the very least any chance of appearing professional) by accusing the Weinsteins of discrimination. Hunter alleges that his ethnicity prevented him from getting a job at Miramax, since he “was never given a return phone call, as numerous similar situated less qualified Jewish and White people were bestowed job after job after job.”
On a more positive, less lawsuit-focused note, we have an update to the rumor that Tarantino will be voicing “Brainy Smurf” in the upcoming live-action Smurfs movie. The rumor started when Alan Cumming, who will be voicing “Gutsy Smurf,” name dropped Tarantino as playing Brainy Smurf during an interview with MTV.
Tarantino’s publicist has now denied Cumming’s assertion – claiming the director is not connected in any way to the Smurfs movie.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed that Tarantino doesn’t sue Cumming for slander.
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