With the Oscars approaching and acclaimed director Quentin Tarantino again in the running for one of the top prizes, we thought we’d take a look back one of the auteur’s early masterpieces; Pulp Fiction and the cast he originally wanted in the now-iconic roles.
Though Hollywood blockbuster duo Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio starred in Tarantino’s latest flick Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, a film currently in contention for Best Picture at this year’s awards, for a while the director had a very specific set of actors he allocated roles to.
It means that these early cast requests for Tarantino’s 1994 bonanza Pulp Fiction make for interesting reading. For example, while Uma Thurman earned cult status in her role as Mia Wallace’s character, earning nominations at the Oscar’s for Best Supporting Actress, she wasn’t initially earmarked for a role at all.
On top of that John Travolta, who was also nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor, was not an early pick for Tarantino despite being “strong, strong second choice”. Travolta only managed to land the role as Vincent when Tarantino’s first choice, Michael Madsen, opted for a role in a different film.
The likes of Johnny Depp, Nicholas Cage, Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, Alec Baldwin and Francis Coppola were all mentioned in the award-winning director’s wish list. You can see the full list here.
The director would have to fight tooth and nail to get his desired cast after the studio Miramax sent their own cast requests via fax before shooting began. As Open Culture notes, they liked Eddie Murphy for the role of Jules while also considering Danny DeVito for Harvey Keitel’s iconic role of ‘The Wolf’.
“Back then, I got much more excited by cool casting,” Tarantino said a recent interview with Vulture. “I liked the idea of taking an actor I’ve always liked but wasn’t being used much anymore and putting him in the movie and showing people what he could do. But I don’t feel that way anymore. Now it’s all about my characters.”
With the brilliant Once Upon A Time In Hollywood looking to sweep at the upcoming Oscars, it’s hard to argue with that.
Find the original pre-approved list below and further details here:
Source: Open Culture