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Quentin Tarantino Says 2019 Proved Superhero Films & Sequels Aren’t Killing Original Films

January 13, 2020 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino is one of the biggest voices in terms of non-franchise storytelling, and he thinks 2019 proved that franchises aren’t killing original cinema. Tarantino spoke with Deadline for a new interview in the wake of Once Upon a Time In Hollywood earning ten Academy Award nominations and weighed in how the success of original storytelling like his film, The Irishman, Marriage Story, Parasite, and Jojo Rabbit in such a strong year for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, DC, and other big franchises is a point in original filmmaking’s favor.

Discussing the year in film, Tarantino said, “I actually think a war for movies got played out this last year … As far as I can see, the commercial product that is owned by the conglomerates, the projects everybody knows about and has in their DNA, whether it be the Marvel Comics, the Star Wars, Godzilla and James Bond, those films never had a better year than last year. It would have been the year that their world domination would have been complete. But it kind of wasn’t. Because of what you said, a lot of original movie content came out and demanded to be seen, and demanded to be seen at the theaters. That ended up becoming a really, really strong year. I’m really proud to be nominated with the other films that just got nominated. I think when you sum up the year, it’s cinema that doesn’t fall into that blockbuster IP proof status, made its last stand this year.”

He continued, “If it hadn’t done it this year, it might have been the last stand for movies like that. This is a really groovy year. To combat something like Avengers: Endgame, which for the month before it came out and the month after, you couldn’t talk about anything else. They tried to do that with this last Star Wars and I don’t think it quite worked, but you couldn’t get on United Airlines without running into all the tie-ins, and even the safety commercial had a Star Wars scene.”

Tarantino also discussed his desire to make the five episodes he wrote of Bounty Law, the fictional Western series within Once Upon a Time that Leonardo DiCaprio’s Rick Dalton stars in. “As far as the Bounty Law shows, I want to do that, but it will take me a year and a half. It got an introduction from Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood, but I don’t really consider it part of that movie even though it is. This is not about Rick Dalton playing Jake Cahill. It’s about Jake Cahill. Where all this came from was, I ended up watching a bunch of Wanted, Dead Or Alive, and The Rifleman, and Tales of Wells Fargo, these half hour shows to get in the mindset of Bounty Law, the kind of show Rick was on. I’d liked them before, but I got really into them. The concept of telling a dramatic story in half an hour. You watch and think, wow, there’s a helluva lot of storytelling going on in 22 minutes. I thought, I wonder if I can do that? I ended up writing five half hour episodes. So I’ll do them, and I will direct all of them.”

As for his tenth and final film, Tarantino acknowledged that Sony — who financed Once Upon a Time — will be in a good position to distribute it, but that it could be a while. “I have no idea what that’s going to be,” he said. “I have a couple things I want to do before the next movie.”