Quentin Tarantino was on the Charlie Rose show last week (you can watch it in full here, as pointed out by Vulture and /Film) once again to promote his WWII drama "Inglourious Basterds," as he ends up on the show for pretty much everyone of his movies ("At the writing stage I look forward to coming to this table and talking to you," Tarantino told Rose affectionately and enthusiastically).
Per usual, it's an hour long chat and many topics are covered. However, as Vulture just noticed (and something we were taking notes about last night), Tarantino has expressed his interest in writing about the history of U.S. Slavery again.
Tarantino was discussing his dislike of biopics (which typically don't interest him), but he gave an example of one that might: American abolitionist John Brown, who unsuccessfully tried to cause an armed slave revolt in 1859. "There is one [biopic] story that I could be interested in, but it would probably be one of the last movies I [ever make]," Tarantino told Rose. "My favorite hero in American history is John Brown. He's my favorite American who ever lived. He basically single-handedly started the road to end slavery and the fact that he killed people to do it. He decided, 'If we start spilling white blood, then they're going to start getting the idea.' "
As Vulture points out, Tarantino penned an article for Toronto's EyeWeekly earlier this month, and called him a "real basterd" (that's a compliment) and said, the man "basically started the Civil War."
As we noted earlier this year, it's not the first time he's expressed his wish to tackle the slavery subject and in a 2007 interview with the U.K. press right around the time "Deathproof" flopped in the U.S., he said:
"I want to do movies that deal with America's horrible past with slavery and stuff but do them like spaghetti westerns, not like big issue movies. I want to do them like they're genre films, but they deal with everything that America has never dealt with because it's ashamed of it, and other countries don't really deal with because they don't feel they have the right to."Sounds like a similar approach to "Basterds," which is revisionism and placing history into his own universe. History and race is always on his mind. In the New York Times in May, the filmmaker talked about his childhood revenge fantasies centered around payback on the Ku Klux Klan and even suggested that a Basterds sequel could tackle this subject. "Once the Basterds get through with Europe, they could go to the South and do it to the Kluxers in the ’50s. That’s another story you could tell,” he said.
Will it happen? Like all dreamed-up Tarantino projects, who knows, but he does say that this is something he would save for later in his career. And we won't know until he's putting pen to paper, the script is finished, and he's actually said he's going to make it (even then, never a guarantee, see the long gestation period for 'Basterds').
But all of his talk with Rose was just of possibilities. For example he said he wouldn't mind returning to the heist genre and when discussing biopics, he also pointed out that a day in the life of Elvis Presley would be interesting (as a random example of the type of biopic he would consider), but generally a film on someone's entire lifespan would not be of interest. What's really next? Tarantino essentially says it in not so many words: more of the kinds of films you'd expect from him and he hints at a Western again too. "I like working in genre," he told Rose with emphasis. And I like personally and minutely inside of a fun movie genre, and I even like sub-genres inside of genres. That's kind of what I do. Another movie could be a Western, another movie could be swashbuckler film..." he said before trailing off/being broken off by the interrupting host.
Don't lose sleep over this one, but do hope that one day Tarantino re-writes history by putting on the successful John Brown slavery revolt.