The controversial filmmaker is coming soon to … your TV
Remember that feeling? Watching Pulp Fiction for the first time and wondering … what the hell is happening? Well, now you can have that feeling for eight episodes coming soon to your TV.
That’s right. Cult-favorite, Oscar-winning filmmaker Quentin Tarantino is making his debut foray into television with an eight-part limited series. The project is rumored to be for a streaming service — as everything is these days. And the director is putting off production of his 10th (maybe final?) feature film to focus on the magic of the small screen.
And it’s coming sooner than you think. Set to premiere in early 2023, Tarantino’s move to TV — and his vague final film — coincides with the book tour for his recent literary offering Cinema Speculation. This is the next chapter, he said in 2020. “This is the time for the third act [of my life] to just lean a little bit more into the literary … I can be a little bit more of a homebody and become a little bit more of a man of letters.”
Whatever this project is, it’s bound to be … interesting.
Tarantino’s films are known as a celebration of cinema, especially his recent feat, Once Upon a Time … In Hollywood. No stranger to streaming services, he partnered with Netflix on the 2015 release of his film The Hateful Eight. And then there are his television credits — From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series was an episodic series based on his film with Robert Rodriguez. Plus, he wrote and directed two episodes of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation in 2005 and helmed one episode of E.R. in 1995.
However, some are apprehensive about the news as Tarantino’s known for being … provocative. Some call it outright offensive. It started with his Pulp Fiction characters distressingly gratuitous use of the N-word. And it’s been controversy after controversy ever since.
Despite female-focused films like Jackie Brown and the Kill Bill Saga that claim to be about empowering women, Tarantino has a penchant for depicting violence against them. Although his films are famous for their blood and gore, women are often the brunt of this abuse.
And the violence doesn’t end onscreen. Reports broke a few years ago that Tarantino spat on Uma Thurman while filming Kill Bill and physically choked her. If that wasn’t enough, he forced her to drive an unsafe car … which crashed, injuring Thurman’s neck and knees. He actually strangled Diane Kruger while shooting a scene for Inglourious Basterds in the interest of “on-camera realism”. Tarantino claims all of this was part of filming, in pursuit of a good shot, but … at what cost?
Even Once Upon a Time … In Hollywood — though star-studded and critically acclaimed — simmers with violence and problematic behavior on and off the screen. His most recent offering is supposed to be a tribute to Sharon Tate. But how is a reimagining of her tragic murder an homage? And the hero is a “wife-killer” who is celebrated in the film. Not to mention the Roman Polanski-ness of it all — eww.
Quentin Tarantino on the set of Once Upon a Timevia Sony Pictures Publicity
If it weren’t enough to glorify Polanski in the film, Tarantino has been callously dismissive of Polanski’s notorious sexual abuse case. In 1977, Polanski was arrested and charged in Los Angeles with six offenses against a 13-year-old girl.
In a resurfaced 2003 Howard Stern interview, Stern asked The Pulp Fiction director why Hollywood still embraced Polanski despite the alleged assault of a child. Tarantino replied, “she was down with this,” dismissing the classification of rape. “He didn’t rape a 13-year-old. It was statutory rape. … He had sex with a minor. That’s not rape. To me, when you use the word rape, you’re talking about violence, throwing them down; it’s like one of the most violent crimes in the world. You can’t throw the word rape around. It’s like throwing the word ‘racist’ around. It doesn’t apply to everything people use it for.”
Tarantino has since apologized — although it took him 15 years. But given his characterization of Polanski in Once Upon a Time, wouldn’t you say the apology’s a tad insincere? And let’s not get into Quentin’s half-assed comments about longtime collaborator Harvey Weinstein.
So Tarantino might be one of the most famous names in film, but does he deserve it? And will his new project be packed with his typical unrestrained violence and callous mistreatment of women? Time will only tell.