BEVERLY HILLS, California — When filmmaker Quentin Tarantino speaks, movie lovers listen. So when he turned up in Beverly Hills recently to promote "Daltry Calhoun," the Johnny Knoxville golf comedy/drama he executive produced, MTV News took on the "Pulp Fiction" role of Jules Winnfield to his Frank Whaley, sticking him in a chair and grilling him with rapid-fire questions about his upcoming projects.
Tarantino shed some light on his upcoming double-feature film, "Grind House," which he'll soon film with friend and frequent collaborator Robert Rodriguez. Last month Rodriguez said the two were working together in Tarantino's home in Los Angeles and that his half of the movie would be more violent than Tarantino's (see "Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino Teaming Up For Exploitation Flick"). The "Reservoir Dogs" mastermind, renowned for his unapologetic carnage, agreed. "It actually might, the way it's all turning out," he said.
"His movie is called 'Planet Terror,' and mine is called 'Death Proof,' " Tarantino revealed. "Mine is sort of a slasher film, but instead of a knife, it's a car. ... His, he's dealing with zombies and all that stuff. I think his might end up being more violent, but I'm not finished with my [script] yet, so you never know."
The former video-store clerk, clad in a white button-down shirt depicting a dragon attacking a tiger, said he and Rodriguez are particularly excited about shooting fake "trailers" that will enhance the "Grind House" experience. "That's one of the things we're looking the most forward to, shooting the phony trailers that will play in between the movies. I'm working out my blaxploitation trailer, and possibly a kung-fu trailer, a sexploitation trailer, a spaghetti-western trailer. I just need to kind of work them out a little bit. I'm just getting them down there, but I think for sure I'm going to do the sexploitation trailer, which is called 'Cowgirls in Sweden.' "
Adding that the phony "Sweden" trailer will probably star some of the women already cast in "Death Proof," Tarantino said they plan to shoot their irreverent trailer-within-a-movie-within-a-movie double feature at the beginning of next year.
In other Rodriguez-Tarantino news, the director commented on Frank Miller's recent statement that Tarantino's hectic schedule may keep him from participating in the second "Sin City" film (see " 'Sin City' Co-Directors Working On Sequels, Eyeing A Tarantino Replacement"). "Well that might not be the case, actually," the enthusiastic auteur insisted. "I'll be in Austin [Texas] for a long time on 'Grind House' ... so [Rodriguez and I will] be doing a thing together, then after that he goes right into 'Sin City 2,' so they just have to offer me a scene. Maybe there's not a scene for me this time, but I can't imagine that I wouldn't make myself available if they wanted me [to]."
Beyond that, the future gets a bit fuzzy, but Tarantino was still willing to address some of the projects surrounding him. "['Inglorious Bastards'] will probably be the next thing I do after I finish 'Grind House' with Robert," he said of the long-gestating World War II film viewed by many as his "Dirty Dozen"-influenced project. "That will be my next big Mount Everest, climb-the-mountain kind of project."
"I've got a big portion of it done," the Oscar-winning screenwriter said of his "Inglorious" script. "I've been waiting for all the 'Kill Bill' stuff to be over with, and then to maybe chill on it a little bit, and then [get] ready to finish writing it. ... I have like five years of writing behind me now, and I just need to add one more year to it."
While Tarantino did confirm that longtime leading man Michael Madsen will be in "Inglorious," he denied rumors of uniting former action-film competitors Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger in the film. "No, I never said that. I'm a big fan of both those guys, but all that is just rumors. All these casting things that everyone's been saying is just complete speculation."
What isn't speculative, however, is Tarantino's desire to someday make a third "Kill Bill" epic, this time following the story of the Bride's daughter, B.B. (actress Perla Haney-Jardine), when she becomes an adult and confronts the violence that surrounded her youth. "That would be the third one," Tarantino enthused. "I'd have to wait about 10 years. Uma's got to get 10 years older, the little girl has to grow up and everything. And then we'd do the next chapter in the 'Kill Bill' series."
Then there's another long-term project, the tentatively titled "Vega Brothers" film that would team Vincent Vega (John Travolta in "Pulp Fiction") with his brother Vic Vega (Madsen in "Reservoir Dogs") in a prequel-ish story featuring the original actors. "I could do it," Tarantino said. "I've actually figured out a way, even though the characters have gotten older, to do it. I just have to have the ambition to write it."
Asked what this ingenious twist would be, Tarantino would only flash his famously mischievous grin: "If I told you that, then I would never write it at all."
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