If Quentin Tarantino Is Only Going To Make Two More Movies And He Has "Four And A Half" Ideas, Which Should He Make?
Is the run-up to the highly-anticipated release of your eighth movie really the best time to talk about retirement? While such a career move may seem bizarre coming from anyone else, it makes sense coming from acclaimed auteur Quentin Tarantino, who seems determined to go out on top. The filmmaker announced last year that he intends to retire after making his 10th movie — a promise he still seems intent on following through on, having recently restated it in a podcast with author Bret Easton Ellis. The Hateful Eight will be Tarantino's eighth movie (appropriately enough), which means there are theoretically only two more on their way before he calls it quits. In a press conference this Monday, the Tarantino stated that he has "four and a half ideas" that could potentially become these final two films. So, if he is planning to retire after film number 10, which ideas should he pick?
In the 23 years since he burst onto the indie filmmaking scene with Reservoir Dogs, the director has tackled everything from sprawling crime sagas (Pulp Fiction) to bloody westerns (Django Unchained). Will Tarantino surprise with two new genres in his final two films? Or will he return to more familiar territory?
Here are the four (and a half) ideas Tarantino mentioned, ranked in the order the filmmaker should consider making them based on how exciting they sound:
5. Forty Lashes Less One
Based on a 1972 novel by famous Western author Elmore Leonard, Tarantino envisions an adaptation of this as a miniseries: "like an hour an episode, four or five hours — I’d write and direct it all." As exciting as it is to envision Tarantino tackling the same writer who brought us FX's Justified, the fact is that Forty Lashes Less One would be sort of been-there-done-that for an auteur who has so long prided himself on reinvention. Not only would this be Tarantino's third Western in a row after Django and Hateful Eight, but he has actually already adapted Leonard once before: 1997's Jackie Brown was based off the author's 1992 novel Rum Punch. If Tarantino really only has two more movies left in him, I'd prefer him to produce something wildly different than anything he's ever done before.
4. Kill Bill: Volume 3
The only previously-stated idea of Tarantino's that he didn't bring up during this week's press conference — and presumably that final "half" idea he mentioned — is the long-gestating sequel to Kill Bill. (Volume 1 and Volume 2 are actually one film that was split and released in theaters several months apart because of its 4+ hour runtime.) As recently as this summer's Comic Con, Tarantino was teasing the idea that Volume 3 could still happen, stating that "Vernita’s daughter just needs to get a little older.” (Presumably the sequel would center on the daughter of Deadly Viper Assassination Squad member Vernita Green, who would be out for vengeance against her mother's murderer, Beatrix Kiddo.) But as undeniably amazing as this film would be, do we really want one of Tarantino's two final films to be a sequel?
3. Killer Crow
This potential project would be a spinoff of 2009's Inglourious Basterds — in fact, it started as an actual part of that movie before the director realized he needed to trim the script down to a manageable length. "The huge stuff that I took out could make its own movie, following a platoon of black troops that were court-martialed and they escape," Tarantino explained. "They are in France, they are going to be hung in London and their whole thing is to get to Switzerland. And they end up getting into an adventure and they meet the Basterds. So I could still do that. I’m not done with it." Like Forty Lashes, Killer Crow would also fall into the category of repeating previous genres, but it's easy to imagine this one having a wildly different tone from Basterds and its potential for a hugely diverse cast is appealing.
2. A Gangster Movie
Tarantino has made plenty of movies about gangsters — in fact, pretty much all of his movies are about criminals, bandits, or mobsters of some sort. And yet somehow, bizarrely, he has never yet made an outright "gangster movie" in the traditional sense of the word, with a period setting, noir tropes, and fedoras all around. But Tarantino admitted that he would be keen to try his hand at one: "It would be fun to do a '30s gangster movie, like Bonnie And Clyde or Dillinger, with the tommy guns and that kind of thing. That’s something I haven’t done and that would be cool.” Um, YES IT WOULD. The fact that this hasn't yet is actually somewhat mystifying in retrospect. Now if this isn't one of Tarantino's final two projects, I'll be infinitely disappointed.
1. A Horror Movie
Oddly enough, the one idea that sounds the coolest is the one that Tarantino seemed most eager to dismiss. "I don’t think I have the right kind of temperament to do something like The Exorcist that is all about one tone of dread carrying through," he said. "I like breaking up [tones] a little bit. If I were really going to do a horror film, it would something like [shifting tones], but I honestly don’t think I have the right temperament. I like going up and down and up and down and I think that would take away from the horror." Tarantino has never struck me as someone to shy away from a challenge, so it's odd that he seems so reluctant to tackle this genre because he doesn't feel he has the "right temperament." All of Tarantino's films contain horror within them — and his Grindhouse contribution Death Proof is the closest he's ever come to making a slasher movie — but wouldn't it be thrilling to watch the filmmaker embrace his most horrific, most violent, bloodiest tendencies and craft something that would truly scare us all? I'd be first in line for a ticket, I know that much.
While we wait to find out what Tarantino's next project will be — and whether or not he'll follow through on his threat to retire — you can catch The Hateful Eight in theaters when it opens wide on Jan. 1, 2016.