This week sees a major event for a lot of moviegoers; a new Quentin Tarantino film is out! The Hateful Eight is another blisteringly violent, quick-witted film from the one-of-a-kind director that may not be his very best work, but is an extremely entertaining one nonetheless.
To celebrate its release we thought we’d gather some interest facts about Tarantino’s films over the years that you may very well not know already…
Mr. Blue Was a Criminal in Real Life
Alongside seasoned actors like Harvey Keitel and Chris Penn, Tarantino cast Eddie Bunker as Mr. Blue, the least-seen of the gang of violent robbers in his debut film Reservoir Dogs. Before turning to acting and novel writing, Mr. Bunker was in fact a notorious criminal, having spent most of the first half of his life behind bars for crimes including bank robbery, drug dealing and extortion. He later adapted his prison-set novel Animal Factory into a film starring Willem Dafoe.
Tarantino Went to Amsterdam to Write Pulp Fiction
One of Pulp Fiction’s key characters Vincent Vega (played by John Travolta) notably has just come back from Amsterdam when the movie starts. This was probably inspired by the very fact that Tarantino went away from the bright lights of Hollywood in early 1992 to a small hotel in Amsterdam, where he wrote the script while touring around European film festivals with Reservoir Dogs. He returned early the following year with what would become an Oscar-winning script, containing those infamous references to European fast food and buying a beer in McDonalds.
The “Ezekiel 25:17” Speech Isn’t Really True to Scripture
One of the most famous scenes in Pulp Fiction, or any Tarantino movie for that matter, is when Samuel L. Jackson’s hitman Jules Winnfield delivers his Biblical “Ezekiel 25:17” speech before he kills his targets. He even deconstructs what he thinks it could mean at the end of the film in the diner. However, the quotation bears very little resemblance to scripture. The director has since said that it wasn’t actually supposed to be taken from the Bible, but from the 1976 Chinese martial arts film The Bodyguard.
The Jackie Brown Bag Money Was All Real
Usually when it comes to items that are worth a lot of money like, I dunno, $550,000 then filmmakers use a prop. Not so with Jackie Brown, Tarantino’s masterful adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s novel Rum Punch. The bag full of money that each of the unscrupulous characters are after was genuinely half a million dollars in cold hard cash. Of course it gives things a sense of authenticity but we’re sure it was never left out of sight for a single second on set!
“You May Not Last Five Minutes”
In Kill Bill Vol. 1, The Bride (Uma Thurman) slices her way through the sword-wielding gang The Crazy 88 in order to get the boss and first target on her revenge list, O-Ren Ishii (Lucy Liu). Before they start their sword fight O-Ren says, “I hope you saved your energy. If you haven’t you may not last five minutes.” What’s so interesting about that statement, you ask? From that moment right up until [SPOILER ALERT!] The Bride slices off O-Ren’s scalp, the fight comes in at exactly 4 minutes and 59 seconds. Nice.
We Might Not Be Done with The Bride’s Story
You would think that 4+ hours of bloody vengeance would be enough to satiate Tarantino’s appetite for telling The Bride’s story. And while Vol. 2 gave her saga a pretty definitive ending – including her [SPOILER ALERT] finally killing Bill – talks of a Vol.3 have maintained since and it recently came to the forefront as a distinct possibility. There’s nothing concrete yet, but some rumours suggest it would centre on the daughter of Vernita Green (Vivica A. Fox) who would, as The Bride told her after killing her mother, now be grown up and coming for some revenge of her own.
Death Proof Is the Only One of His Movies to Happen in Order
Along with the car boot POV, usage of eclectic music from all eras and fake products, one of the things Tarantino is known for is having his film unfold out of chronological order. This famously happened in Pulp Fiction when [SPOILER ALERT] John Travolta was killed half way through only to reappear alive for the ending. Well, interestingly, Death Proof, Tarantino’s most divisive film, takes places completely in chronological order without any flashbacks. Why? Well, perhaps it ties into the car theme of driving things forward without looking back? We’re grasping at straws, we know…
Tarantino Wanted Leonardo DiCaprio to Play Hans Landa
The role of the Nazi “Jew Hunter” Col. Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds was magnificently played by Christoph Waltz, a performance for which he won a very deserving Oscar. But he wasn’t always the director’s choice for the role – that honour went to none other Leonardo DiCaprio. Hard to imagine, isn’t it? The director then reconsidered and wanted the role to be played a German-speaking actor. Of course, the two of them would finally work together when DiCaprio played the vicious plantation owner in Django Unchained. Speaking of which…
Django’s Inspiration Makes a Cameo
One of the many inspirations for Tarantino’s slavery epic Django Unchained was a character of the same name from a series of old spaghetti Westerns. As a very big tip of the hat and a major in-joke for Tarantino/Western enthusiasts, the director cast Franco Nero, one of the many actors to portray the character of Django over the years. Nero can be found sitting at the bar in the scene where Jamie Foxx’s character meets DiCaprio. Nero asks Foxx, “What is your name?” “Django,” he replies. “Can you spell it?” he asks. “D-J-A-N-G-O… The D is silent.” “I know,” replies Nero.
The Hateful Eight Almost Didn’t Happen
It may seem a bit silly to say it now what with the film opening in cinemas (though shockingly not at Cineworld, Picturehouse or Curzon) but we almost never had the 8th film by Quentin Tarantino at all. Back in early 2014 the script for The Hateful Eight was leaked online and Tarantino subsequently threw a bit of a fit that his work had been spoiled and threatened not to even bother making it. However, after the dust settled the director did some significant rewrites, namely to the ending, and carried on with plans to bring it to the big-screen. Therefore you can keep in the back of your mind that the version you see does not completely resemble what was first written.