This past weekend, you and $37.6 million worth of your closest friends poured into theaters nationwide to watch [movieperson id="50260"]Brad Pitt[/movieperson] and his [movie id="404229"]“Inglourious Basterds”[/movie] scalp, slaughter and spy their way to the top of the box office . But did you really see the movie?
Below are five facts about “Basterds” that might change the way you look at the film. From potential prequels to one star’s evil dreams to some surprising inspiration from Jason Mraz, the time has finally come to blow the cover off these men on a mission.
Will the Basterds Be Back?
Although Tarantino has toyed with the idea of a “Vega Brothers” movie that would explore the backstories of Michael Madsen and John Travolta’s beloved killer siblings, it’s looking highly unlikely. Instead, “Basterds” star Omar Doom revealed to us recently that the director’s first sequel/prequel might look back on the origins of his Nazi hunters. “He has a lot of material to work with; he’s got like 500 [leftover] pages, so he could shoot another movie next week if he wanted to. If all goes well with this one, we could be shooting again pretty soon — he did talk about a prequel,” explained the actor, who said he’d love to return as Pfc. Omar Ulmer. “He has this whole other story that he wrote.”
How Do You Count to Three?
In a pivotal “Basterds” scene, the entire fate of the mission hinges on how a character counts to three on one hand — revealing him to be either German or a spy. Tarantino said that if you ask any German, you’ll find that the differences in digit-use still exist: “That was actually a thing. … You have to remember one thing about WWII — it was the last time that a whole lot of white people fought a whole lot of white people. So you could actually infiltrate Germany, or Germans could infiltrate the Polish underground, if you could pull off the language. One of the things that would blow
people’s cover a lot, with Americans pretending to be Germans, was this notion of three fingers. But what was really funny was the Germans who worked on the ['Basterds'] crew, they do [holds up two fingers and a thumb]. They didn’t know we did [holds up three fingers]!”
From “Stuck in the Middle With You” to a cameo by the 188.8.131.52′s to a discussion about “Elvis people” vs. “Beatles people,” music has always played a prominent role in Tarantino’s scripts. But his main musical influence while writing his bloody WWII epic was… Jason Mraz? Believe it or not, the writer/director fell in love with the singer/songwriter’s mellow tones while slaving away on his script, and listened repeatedly to Mraz’s “I’m Yours.” Given his newly revealed sensitive side, who knows? Maybe QT’s next film will have Michael Madsen slicing off someone’s ear to the soothing sounds of Jack Johnson’s “Banana Pancakes.”
Just Another Day at “The Office”
Every week on TV, millions tune in to see Steve Carell and B.J. Novak make with the funny on NBC’s “The Office.” But Tarantino devotee Novak knew his nerves were getting to him on the “Basterds” set when he began having violent dreams about the death of the “40-Year-Old Virgin” superstar. “I had this dream when I got [on set] — this is gonna sound really weird — but I had this dream the first week that Steve Carell was there, and everyone was aiming guns at Steve Carell from all these hilltops and trying to shoot him,” Novak revealed. “It seemed very obvious to me that [my subconscious was telling me] ‘OK, I work with Steve Carell every day, he’s a very big movie star, I can handle that. Now I’m working with Brad Pitt. Just because there’s guns around and photographers are trying to shoot him every day, it doesn’t mean it’s any different or any less normal.’ I think I kept my cool [working on my first high-profile film] during the day, but at night I’d have pretty messed-up dreams.”
Now Playing at a Theater Near You
A key scene in “Basterds” features revenge-minded Shosanna Dreyfus swapping reels of a Nazi propaganda film with her own homemade movie. To prepare for the scene, Tarantino made French actress Mélanie Laurent act as a “guest projectionist” at a beloved L.A. art-house theater. “He organized a crazy thing,” she remembered. “He asked me after 10 days [of training] to go to the Beverly Cinema, and I was supposed to project cartoons, trailers, old Japanese kung fu trailers and ‘Reservoir Dogs’ — almost three hours! It’s like a lot of changeovers, and I was alone in the projection booth. … It was completely stressful, but it was a test.” Looking back, that audience is probably just happy she didn’t lock them in the theater and reenact the “Basterds” final act.
Check out everything we’ve got on “Inglourious Basterds.”
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