Quentin Tarantino champions original movies in 2019 & teases more Bounty Law


Quentin Tarantino has has a pretty damn good past year and with awards and accolades raining down on him for his latest film, ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD, he’s got a lot to be thankful for, chief among them being that audiences still hunger for original films. In an interview with Deadline, Tarantino talked about how original films in 2019 fought back against the corporate stranglehold that appeared to be taking over the box office. For every blockbuster IP film that smashed the box office, there was an original film counterpart. While AVENGERS: ENDGAME, THE LION KING, STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER, TOY STORY 4, etc. swept up audiences, so to did films like UNCUT GEMS, MARRIAGE STORY, THE IRISHMAN, JOJO RABBIT, etc., as well as Tarantino’s ONCE UPON A TIME…

However, Tarantino speculates that had it not been such a strong year for original films, particularly when the blockbusters had such an amazing year at the box office, it may have rung the bell on more original content in the future…

As far as I can see, the commercial product that is owned by the conglomerates, the projects everybody knows about and has in their DNA, whether it be the Marvel Comics, the Star Wars, Godzilla and James Bond, those films never had a better year than last year. It would have been the year that their world domination would have been complete. But it kind of wasn’t. Because of what you said, a lot of original movie comment came out and demanded to be seen, and demanded to be seen at the theaters. That ended up becoming a really, really strong year. I’m really proud to be nominated with the other films that just got nominated. I think when you sum up the year, it’s cinema that doesn’t fall into that blockbuster IP proof status, made its last stand this year.”

He elaborates on the “last stand” comment, saying that the original films ended up keeping hope alive for more of them, by ultimately “defeating” things like AVENGERS: ENDGAME…

If it hadn’t done it this year, it might have been the last stand for movies like that. This is a really groovy year. To combat something like Avengers: Endgame, which for the month before it came out and the month after, you couldn’t talk about anything else. They tried to do that with this last Star Wars and I don’t think it quite worked, but you couldn’t get on United Airlines without running into all the tie-ins, and even the safety commercial had a Star Wars scene.”

For fans of ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD and, in particular, the Rick-Dalton led fictional series Bounty Law, Tarantino says that he fully intends to shoot the five episodes he wrote for the show, directing them himself…

“As far as the Bounty Law shows, I want to do that, but it will take me a year and a half. It got an introduction from Once Upon a Tim in Hollywood, but I don’t really consider it part of that movie even though it is. This is not about Rick Dalton playing Jake Cahill. It’s about Jake Cahill. Where all this came from was, I ended up watching a bunch of Wanted, Dead or Alive, and The Rifleman, and Tales of Wells Fargo, these half-hour shows to get in the mindset of Bounty Law, the kind of show Rick was on. I’d liked them before, but I got really into them. The concept of telling a dramatic story in half an hour. You watch and think, wow, there’s a helluva lot of storytelling going on in 22 minutes. I thought, I wonder if I can do that? I ended up writing five half-hour episodes. So I’ll do them, and I will direct all of them.”

I’ve discussed at length what a great year 2019 was for movies, particularly on The Beard and The Bald podcast with my co-host and theatrical reviewer, Chris Bumbray, which includes original and blockbuster films alike. Indeed, it was the best of both worlds in 2019 and will go down as a powerful year for cinema (and/or blockbusters, depending how Scorsese-like you view such things) and one to top in years to come. There’s absolutely some real merit in the point Tarantino makes here and I certainly hope this past year rallies more new and original films to flood the marketplace and balance out the blockbusters.

Also, I’m totally down for some Tarantino-helmed Bounty Law, if that’s what he wants to do. Sadly, it looks like we won’t see him direct a Star Trek, but we’ll eagerly await whatever he does next (and for his alleged “final” film). Next up for Tarantino is wearing a tux and waiting anxiously to see how many (if any) golden trophies he gets to take home after the Oscars on February 9th.





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