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The 10 best Quentin Tarantino films that were never made

From the very beginning, Quentin Tarantino has reminded everyone that he is going to step down from his position as one of the most prominent filmmakers in the world after he is finished with his tenth film. The reasoning behind this decision is Tarantino’s interpretation of the history of cinema and the trajectory of filmmakers: “I know film history and from here on [out], directors do not get better.”

Since almost everyone is aware that Tarantino is planning his final swansong, there has been a lot of speculation on the internet. In a conversation with Joe Rogan, Tarantino said: “Now would be the time in the career where I would do that good book, just because it would make a good movie.” However, he also acknowledged that a third instalment to the legacy of Kill Bill might be a viable possibility too.

In order to get a better understanding of what Tarantino’s last project might be, we take a look at some of the most promising ideas that were discarded by Tarantino over the course of his trailblazing career. Most of these pitches were pushed back but now might just be the time when Tarantino looks back on these projects while thinking about his next and final film.

Let’s get to it:

10 Quentin Tarantino films that were never made:

10. A Comedy Western

During an interview at the Rome Film Festival, Tarantino revealed that he is interested in adding a comedy western to his filmography. According to the director, it would be a multilingual project featuring an Italian bandit, an American hero, a German sheriff and an Israeli saloon girl.

Tarantino said: “It’s a piece of something else that I’m thinking about doing — and I’m not going to describe what it is but part of this thing, there is supposed to be a Spaghetti Western in it. I’m looking forward to shooting that [thing] because it’s going to be really fun. Because I want to shoot it in the Spaghetti Western style where everybody’s speaking a different language.”

9. The Psychic

Tarantino has always admitted that horror films have influenced him a lot and he has often cited the 1977 Italian giallo gem The Psychic as one of his favourites. For years now, the director has claimed that he would love to do a remake of The Psychic with Bridget Fonda in a starring role.

However, legal issues have obstructed his path since the rights for the film haven’t been purchased yet. Tarantino commented on the possibility: “It’s one of those things where it’s like if somebody buys the rights to make it, I won’t make it. If it’s meant to happen, it’ll happen.”

8. 1970s Softcore Porn

The filmography of Quentin Tarantino has always had a subtextual blend of eroticism and violence but there was one time when Tarantino was considering making a film about his own kinks. However, he held off on making a softcore 1970s porno because he felt it would be too revealing.

“I came up with the idea of like a cool sex movie that would take place in Stockholm, with a couple of Americans visiting a couple of Swedish friends,” Tarantino said, while talking about the origins of the idea. “Kind of like the girls in Death Proof, just going out drinking, having a good time, hooking up.”

Adding, “If I actually do an erotic movie, I’m going to have to reveal what I find sexy, what turns me on. And when it comes to sex in movies, it’s got to be kind of kinky, because that’s what’s cinematic, that’s what’s fun. But my problem wouldn’t be revealing myself. My problem would be doing a press tour talking about me revealing myself. And how creepy that would be, how creepy the questions would be.” 

7. 1930s Gangster Flick

Another one of Tarantino’s favourite sub-genres, gangster films, have dominated the public imagination for decades now. Tarantino himself has stylised cinematic crime through his most well-known works such as Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction but he isn’t satisfied.

In 2012, Tarantino revealed that he wants to make a proper tribute to the gangster masterpieces from the 1930s with a film made in the same tradition. The director insisted that it would be like a classic Warner Bros. production with all the tropes that were subversive at the time.

6. An Untitled Horror Movie

Tarantino isn’t just thinking about remakes of horror classics but original horror projects as well since the director hasn’t really tackled the genre before. Despite his burning passion for horror films, Tarantino has never ventured into the realm of horror as a director and he would like to rectify that.

In 2019, the filmmaker claimed that he could see a proper horror project in the future if he were to actually think of one that was good enough: “If I come up with a terrific horror film story, I will do that as my tenth film,” Tarantino said. “I love horror movies. I would love to do a horror film.”

5. Killer Crow

Tarantino’s wildly popular 2009 gem Inglourious Basterds was a huge success; so much so that it spawned a spinoff titled Killer Crow in which Lt. Aldo Raine (played by Brad Pitt) runs into a platoon of Black soldiers on a mission for revenge. Sadly, it never saw the light of day.

In an interview, Tarantino explained: “On this movie, there’s one real big roadblock, and that’s history itself. And I expected to honour that roadblock. But then, at some point, deep, deep, deep into writing it, it hit me. I thought, Wait a minute: my characters don’t know they’re part of history. They’re in the immediate, they’re in the here, they’re in the now, this is happening.”

4. James Bond

The union of James Bond and Quentin Tarantino is so tempting that it makes one wonder why it has never happened before. According to ex-Bond Pierce Brosnan, it was in the works and Tarantino had even met Brosnan in order to cast him in his own James Bond film.

Brosnan recalled: “He was pounding the table, saying you’re the best James Bond, I wanna do James Bond, and it was very close quarters in the restaurant and I thought, please calm down, but we don’t tell Quentin Tarantino to calm down. He wanted to do James Bond, and I went back to the shop and told them but it wasn’t mean to be. No Quentin Tarantino for James Bond.”

3. John Brown Biopic

The historical epic has been subjected to various subversions by Tarantino in many of his films but this is one project that Tarantino has been thinking about for a long time. In an interview with Charlie Rose, Tarantino declared that it was his dream to make a highly engaging epic about American hero John Brown.

Tarantino said: “There is one [biopic] that I could be interested in, but it would probably be one of the last movies I [ever make]. My favourite hero in American history is John Brown. He’s my favourite American who ever lived. He basically single-handedly started the road to end slavery and the fact that he killed people to do it. He decided ‘If we start spilling white blood, then they’re going to start getting the idea.’”

2. Star Trek

Along with the other genres mentioned above, Tarantino is also a fan of science fiction and Star Trek is a personal favourite. On many occasions, Tarantino has expressed an interest in making an R-rated Star Trek film and the script for it has already been prepared by writer Mark L. Smith.

“I actually think, if I was going to do Star Trek, I should commit to it,” Tarantino told CinemaBlend, while discussing the possibility of Star Trek being his final project before his retirement. “It’s my last movie. There should be nothing left handed about it. I don’t know if I’m going to do that, but that might happen.”

1. Kill Bill Vol. 3

Out of all the possibilities, this one seems to be the likeliest given Tarantino’s recent comments in Rome. The third instalment of Kill Bill has been due for a long time and it looks like it might be finally happening since Tarantino has already started thinking about the new narrative and the casting choices.

“I think it’s just revisiting the characters twenty years later and just imagining the Bride and her daughter, Bebe, having 20 years of peace, and then that peace is shattered,” Tarantino said on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast. “And now The Bride and Bebe are on the run and just the idea of being able to cast Uma [Thurman] and cast her daughter Maya [Hawke] in the thing would be fucking exciting.”