This past week, Quentin Tarantino took a shot at Simon West. Said Quentin; “I’m not interested in the Simon West version of Star Wars”. One can only assume Tarantino has recently eyeballed The Expendables II and took exception with it. Nevermind that the Star Wars series is a pompous, overrated pile of shit. Tell us, Quentin, what type of director is required to shoot exposition-ridden intergalactic senate meetings? I mean, that kinda thing is serious art! The only good thing that ever came out of Star Wars was that it made a truck driver called Jim Cameron think to himself: Hmmm, I can do better than this. And he did. But anyway… back to Tarantino.
Tarantino and West share two similarities. Firstly they’ve both made 3 good movies, with Tarantino’s last being 15 years ago. West’s was this year. Secondly, both are related to The Expendables franchise. You see, years back Tarantino came up with the concept of The Expendables. He was going to make a WW2 action movie with ensemble cast of Schwarzenegger, Stallone, Madsen and Bruce Willis. With others being a possibility. Tarantino, having made nothing but baked shit since his last good movie (Jackie Brown) in 1997, was keen to get something big off the ground. Stallone was most keen and in need of a comeback. When the studio also warmed to the idea, Tarantino left Stallone out in the cold and told him his services were no longer required. Inglorious Bastards (As it was originally called, still with an ‘a’ in bastards) was to be an artsy black comedy with superior actors, now that the studios were opening their wallets and all. Inglorious Basterds came out. Shit film IMO, some might disagree, but when Tarantino’s request for a sequel was denied, evidently some did.
Meanwhile, Stallone made his own comeback. Rocky Balboa was a success. Rambo was the follow up and proved that oldschool action violence can still sell. And that’s when Stallone took the old idea of the retro ensemble and gave it life. It would be called The Expendables. Starting in summer 2008, Stallone started releasing big cast names every odd month. Himself. Then Statham. Then Li. Then Lundgren. Then Rourke. When these were confirmed, hype was through the roof but it would only increase when Arnold and Bruce said yes. Expendables was a success. It is now a certifiable billion dollar franchise when all profits are considered, and that’s before it finishes off as a trilogy, it has only had one sequel yet. But that’s one more sequel than Inglorious Basterds got. Quentin Tarantino wanted a sequel but, well shit Quentin, you ain’t getting one. Nobody wants to see it.
Surely Quentin Tarantino hasn’t got sour grapes? I mean, this outburst comes right after Simon West was announced as the replacement for Brian DePalma to direct Heat. DePalma is a highly regarded director, the opposite of what Tarantino considers to be too lowly to do good movies justice. And yet the man Tarantino shits on gets chosen to be his replacement. What, they didn’t call you Quentin? Simon West is in demand to direct good movies off the back of an idea Tarantino thought he was too good for.
U Jelly, QT?