The Pulp Fiction we all know and love – you know, the one with Uma Thurman as the unmistakable lead, Mia Wallace – could have been colossally, mind-alteringly different had a younger, 1994-era Quentin Tarantino gotten his way. The original cast wish list has surfaced online, and Tarantino’s picks don’t come close to resembling the film’s final cast in the roles of Vincent, Jules, Mia Wallace, and Butch.
“Back then, I got much more excited by cool casting,” Tarantino told Vulture in his most recent interview. “I liked the idea of taking an actor I’ve always liked but wasn’t being used much anymore and putting him in the movie and showing people what he could do. But I don’t feel that way anymore. Now it’s all about my characters.”
While it may be about his characters now, he was definitely clamouring for star power when Pulp Fiction was merely a twinkle in his beady eye. As a reminder, the cast of the film is as follows:
Pumpkin: Tim Roth Honey Bunny: Amanda Plummer Vincent: John Travolta Jules: Samuel L. Jackson Lance: Eric Stoltz Jody: Rosanna Arquette Mia Wallace: Uma Thurman Butch: Bruce Willis Fabienne: Maria de Medeiros The Wolf: Harvey Keitel Koons: Christopher Walken Marcellus Wallace: Ving Rhames
And here is the original wish list, with names like Johnny Depp and Julie Delpy in the running to play some of these hard-edged characters.
I mean, Nicolas gaddam Cage for the role of Pumpkin? Eddie bloody Murphy as a stand-in for Samuel L. Jackson?! No, just no. Some notable exclusions: Bruce Willis didn’t even make the cut for the role of Butch; neither did Uma Thurman for Mia Wallace. Yet, here we are…
Thankfully, Tarantino’s stance on A-list talent has taken a big ol’ U-turn. “Just because somebody’s a star doesn’t necessarily mean my fans or their fans want to see us work together,” he said. “There is such a thing as my kind of actor, and how well they pull off my dialogue is a very, very important part of it. (The Hateful Eight) is a movie where a Brad or a Leo wouldn’t work. It needs to be an ensemble where nobody is more important than anybody else.”