Every well-known director announces way more projects than they end up seeing through. They’re constantly asked by the press what they’re working on and sometimes those ideas never materialize or the script gets passed around Hollywood and slowly fizzles into nothing, which is a real shame. Arguably, no director announces more movies that don’t materialize than Quentin Tarantino. This is a guy who carefully and meticulously chooses his projects, because if he goes in, he goes all in. So, ahead of this summer’s release of the director’s star-studded, much-anticipated Charles Manson saga Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, here are 10 Unrealized Quentin Tarantino Projects We Want To See.
10 Casino Royale
Before Daniel Craig was cast as James Bond and Martin Campbell directed a gritty reboot of the 007 franchise, Quentin Tarantino was working on his own version of Casino Royale. It was the first James Bond novel and it was also the only one that hadn’t been properly adapted at that point. Tarantino wanted to keep Pierce Brosnan in the role of 007, as he felt he was the ideal Bond, and he wanted to make a movie that was driven more by plot and character than by big set pieces. He would’ve set it after On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, right after Bond’s wife was killed, so that he’d be mourning and his romance with Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale would be marked by tragedy.
9 Less Than Zero
Bret Easton Ellis’ seminal debut novel Less Than Zero, which perfectly captures the upper-class California youth culture of the 1980s, was adapted for the big screen in 1987 with Robert Downey, Jr. starring. However, it took a lot of liberties with the story and characters, so Ellis was unhappy with it. In the years since, Quentin Tarantino has thrown his hat in the ring to direct a more faithful (and overall better) adaptation of the book. Ellis said at one point that Tarantino had been “trying to get Fox to let him remake [Less Than Zero]” for years with no success. Sadly, now that Hulu is working on its own adaptation, Tarantino’s version will probably never happen.
After Death Proof showed that even Quentin Tarantino wasn’t infallible and was capable of making a not-so-great movie, the producers pounced on him. They saw a weakness and they thought they could exploit that and get a visionary director to take on a tentpole remake or an A-lister’s starring vehicle. One such script that came through was Billy Ray’s take on the Michael Crichton novel Westworld, the only one Tarantino gave any serious thought. The original Yul Brynner version of Westworld was too heavy on the mindless violence, while the new HBO version is too heavy on the existential themes and deep philosophy of the premise. Tarantino could’ve found the right balance between the two, just like he’s done with all of his other movies.
7 A Howard Hawks-esque Screwball Romcom
While a lot of Quentin Tarantino’s movies have comedic elements – including one controversial gag about the Ku Klux Klan featuring Jonah Hill – he hasn’t made an all-out comedy yet. He once mentioned his desire to direct a Howard Hawks-style screwball romantic comedy that would star two A-list leads. A romantic comedy directed by Quentin Tarantino may sound like a joke, but this would be a postmodern take on an old style of romantic comedy. It would do to the romantic comedy what Inglourious Basterds did to the World War II action film. Hawks’ movie His Girl Friday is one of Tarantino’s all-time favorite movies, and it would’ve been amazing – or at least interesting – to see him modernize that kind of movie.
6 Luke Cage: Hero for Hire
After Reservoir Dogs made Quentin Tarantino one of the hottest new directors in town, he was in talks with Marvel to direct a movie adaptation of their Luke Cage character as an action-packed, postmodern take on the blaxploitation genre. Laurence Fishburne liked Tarantino’s vision for the movie and was interested in playing the lead role.
However, the project fell off the radar when Tarantino got stuck into Pulp Fiction. We eventually ended up with a screen version of Luke Cage in TV form on Netflix, but it was pretty meh compared to what Tarantino would’ve given us: a comic book version of Jackie Brown.
5 Untitled Disaster Movie
The star-studded ensemble disaster movie was one of the dominating genres in the 1970s, and if there’s one thing Quentin Tarantino likes doing, it’s taking genres that have gone out of style – the kung fu movie, the spaghetti western, the blaxploitation film etc. – and giving them a modern makeover. So, it’s no surprise at all that he was once considering making a disaster movie with a big ensemble cast filled with Tarantino regulars: “[John] Travolta could be the pilot, Pam Grier the stewardess, Robert Forster, Michael Madsen, Tim Roth, Harvey Keitel, Bridget Fonda.” Sounds like it could’ve been awesome, right?
4 Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
Quentin Tarantino was once in talks to direct a remake of Russ Meyer’s cult classic sexploitation film Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, which would follow three exotic dancers “just going out drinking, having a good time, hooking up.” Carmen Electra, Kim Kardashian, Lindsay Lohan, and Britney Spears are among the names that have been associated with the project. Tarantino said, “[I]f I were to write a real sex film, the actresses would have to be down with it. Like those great trampy actresses from Italy and Germany in the ‘70s who were just like, ‘Roll the camera, mother****r, here we go.’ That’d be so great.”
3 Killer Crow
Killer Crow was announced to complete Tarantino’s historical revenge trilogy that began with Inglourious Basterds and continued with Django Unchained. The third and final chapter would combine the World War II setting of the former with the racial themes of the latter.
It would’ve reportedly revolved around a platoon of black soldiers who are “f**ked over by the American military” and set out on a bloody, vengeful rampage across Europe. Tarantino said, “[The] black troops go on an Apache warpath and kill a bunch of white soldiers and white officers on a military base and are just making a warpath to Switzerland.”
2 Double V Vega
Quentin Tarantino has been talking up Double V Vega for over two decades now. The interconnectivity of the Tarantino-verse was established from the very beginning, with the revelation that Mr. Blonde’s (Michael Madsen) real name is Vic Vega in Reservoir Dogs suggesting he is the brother of Vincent Vega (John Travolta) from Pulp Fiction. Tarantino planned a spin-off about the two brothers, but it never came to pass. What made it so difficult is that both characters died in their movies, so it would have to be set before those movies, and what with Madsen and Travolta aging 25 years, that would be difficult to pull off.
1 Kill Bill Vol. 3
Perhaps the most famous project Tarantino has attempted to make that never materialized is the mooted third chapter in the Kill Bill saga. He first teased it during an interview about the first two in 2009 when he said, “You haven’t asked me about the third one.” After he was pressed on it, he simply declared, “The Bride will fight again!” The third movie was reported to revolve around Nikki exacting her revenge on the Bride after inheriting Bill’s money and being raised by Sofie Fatale. The director also once suggested that Chloë Grace Moretz would play B.B. all grown up in the sequel.