• Quentin Tarantino’s list of unmade projects includes potential contributions to major franchises like James Bond, Star Trek, Marvel, DC, and Rambo.
  • Tarantino’s unique narrative and visual style, as well as his penchant for violence and blood, have made him both respected and controversial as a filmmaker.
  • Tarantino’s 10-movie rule and his pickiness in choosing projects to direct have resulted in many unmade projects, with rights issues, creative differences, and shifting interests playing a role in their demise.

Quentin Tarantino has a long list of unmade projects, and these go from sequels and spinoffs of his own works to original stories, adaptations of other works, and even projects from major franchises – and here are some titles from the latter category. Quentin Tarantino has become one of the most respected filmmakers of his generation as well as one of the most controversial ones, all thanks to his unique narrative and visual style and the amount of violence and blood in each one of his movies. Tarantino has famously said he will retire after making 10 movies, so it’s not surprising that he has been very picky with the projects he chooses to direct.

So far, Tarantino has only made one movie based on someone else’s work (Jackie Brown, based on Elmore Leonard’s 1992 novel Rum Punch), but he has been close to joining big franchises a couple of times throughout his career. Given his 10-movie rule, it’s not surprising that Tarantino’s list of unmade projects is quite extensive and varied, including projects from some of the biggest and most successful franchises in the entertainment industry – and here are five franchises Tarantino almost joined and why those projects never happened.

5 James Bond

James Bond at a poker table in Casino Royale

Back in 2004, Quentin Tarantino expressed interest in joining the James Bond franchise with an adaptation of Ian Fleming’s debut novel Casino Royale (via BBC), which introduced the world to the famous British secret agent. By then, the Bond franchise was going through a shift as it was preparing for Daniel Craig’s first movie as James Bond, and the producers had a very clear idea of what they wanted for Craig’s debut mission. This was more evident when Eon Productions had no interest in hiring Tarantino to direct Casino Royale, and instead, Martin Campbell was brought back to direct after bringing GoldenEye to life back in 1995.

However, in a 2023 interview with Deadline, Tarantino explained that his Bond project fell through due to rights issues and that he actually wanted to do Casino Royale after Pulp Fiction. A Tarantino Bond movie would have been completely different from the action-packed Bond films the audience is used to, and while that doesn’t mean it would have been bad, it would have completely changed the future of the Bond franchise.

4 Star Trek


The Stark Trek universe was very close to having Quentin Tarantino among its list of filmmakers. In 2017, it was revealed that Tarantino had pitched an idea for a Star Trek movie to Paramount Pictures, based on the 1968 episode “A Piece of the Action”. A few days later, a writers’ room was assembled to develop the concept while Tarantino worked on Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, with The Revenant screenwriter, Mark L. Smith, becoming the frontrunner. The plan was for Tarantino to direct and J.J. Abrams to serve as a producer, with the project receiving an R-rating like Tarantino’s previous movies, making it the first R-rated Star Trek movie.

In 2019, Tarantino confirmed that his Star Trek project was still in development and the script was ready, and he would get back to it after the release of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Some time later, Tarantino described his Star Trek movie as “Pulp Fiction in space”, and shared that he wanted his story to be a prequel to the original Star Trek series rather than being set in an alternate timeline like Abrams’ Star Trek movies. However, in December of that year, Tarantino said he was “steering away” from directing the movie and the following month confirmed that he was no longer directing the project. Tarantino later said he still thought the idea was good for a Star Trek movie and suggested it should still be made.

3 Marvel

Luke Cage Season 2 Finale Mike Colter

Tarantino is an avid comic book collector, and among his favorite characters is Marvel’s Luke Cage. Luke Cage is one of the earliest Black superheroes to be a title character of a Marvel comic book and was created during the height of the blaxploitation genre. Luke Cage was imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit, and gained superhuman strength and unbreakable skin after being subjected to an experimental procedure. Once he got out of prison, Luke became a “hero for hire”. Following the release of Reservoir Dogs in 1992, Tarantino met with producer Ed Pressman, who then owned the film rights to Luke Cage, and presented his idea for a Luke Cage movie, suggesting Laurence Fishburne to play the character.

Tarantino’s Luke Cage movie ultimately didn’t happen not because Marvel didn’t like his idea, but because he let his comic book friends talk him out of it. During an appearance in the podcast Amy Schumer Presents: 3 Girls, 1 Keith, Tarantino explained that his friends “ruined the whole dam thing” for him by insisting Wesley Snipes was better-suited to play Luke Cage, even though he was sure Fishburne was the one for the role. In the end, Tarantino shifted his interest to Pulp Fiction, and Luke Cage hasn’t gotten his own movie yet.

Another Marvel project that Tarantino almost made is a Silver Surfer movie. Also after the success of Reservoir Dogs, Tarantino pitched an idea for a Silver Surfer solo movie to the German studio Constantin Film, but the studio passed on it – interestingly enough, the studio would later team up with Roger Corman for the infamous unreleased 1994 Fantastic Four movie. Tarantino was also attached to write and direct an Iron Man live-action movie in 1999, but that didn’t last long.

2 DC

green lantern justice league

Marvel isn’t the only superhero universe that almost housed a Quentin Tarantino project, as DC could have also had its own Tarantino movie. In the late 1990s, when Tarantino had already established himself as a writer and director, he was offered to direct a film adaptation of Green Lantern before there was even a script. However, Tarantino declined the offer, explaining to MTV in 2009 that, had the offer come when he was in his 20s, he would have taken it, but he had already “kind of outgrown that a little bit”, so he turned it down. In the end, Green Lantern got his solo movie, but it was so bad that it’s widely regarded as one of the worst superhero movies ever made. Funny enough, Green Lantern was directed by Martin Campbell, who directed Casino Royale in 2006.

1 Rambo

Sylvester Stallone as Rambo in First Blood

In 2021, Tarantino shared he was interested in directing a film adaption of David Morrell’s 1972 novel First Blood, which had already been adapted to the big screen in 1982. First Blood was the beginning of the Rambo franchise, so Tarantino’s movie would have been a completely different version separate from the Rambo universe starring Sylvester Stallone. Tarantino even shared his vision of casting long-time collaborator Kurt Russell as the sheriff and Adam Driver as Rambo, later explaining that part of the inspiration behind wanting to adapt First Blood was wanting to get over himself and over being the auteur, focusing on making “a good movie” (via The Playlist). However, as Tarantino only plans to make one more movie (which has already been confirmed), First Blood won’t be happening, at least not with Quentin Tarantino as director.

Sources: BBC, Amy Schumer Presents: 3 Girls, 1 Keith, MTV, The Playlist.

Source link