“Believe it or not, I’ve written a play version,” the director says in a recent appearance on film podcast The Big Picture. “I wanted to write a play, and stuff that’s not in the book… I wanted it to exist as a play.” Comparing it to the novelisation — which delves deeper into the backstory of Brad Pitt’s stuntman character, Cliff Booth — he adds: “Again, I’m able to explore stuff that’s not in the (movie).”
Giving a taste of what that “stuff” might be, he goes on to explain that the stage play deals with Italy, and specifically a Spaghetti Western that Leonardo DiCaprio’s character, Rick Dalton, is in the running to star in.
“The whole second act of the play is Rick and Marvin (Schwarz, played by Al Pacino in the film) having dinner with Sergio Corbucci and Nori Corbucci at their favourite Japanese restaurant in Rome,” Tarantino says. “Rick doesn’t have the part. Depending on how this dinner goes, means whether Rick is going to be Nebraska Jim or not.”
The filmmaker intends to direct the play himself, right after he finishes his non-fictional cinema book. Titled Cinema Speculation when it was announced in November 2020, the book was described as “a deep dive into the movies of the 1970s” containing “a rich mix of essays, reviews, personal writing, and tantalizing ‘what if’s’”.
“I mean, we’ll see what happens,” he says of the play. “But my plan is to... finish the cinema book, then the next thing on the list is to start thinking about the play. I’m not going to think about (my) last movie for a while. I’m doing other things right now.”
Last week, Tarantino was grilled on his longstanding retirement claims during an interview with Bill Maher, which also saw him reveal that he considered making his tenth and final feature a remake of his debut, Reservoir Dogs. Revisit the interview here.