With Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight under his belt, Quentin Tarantino might be adding a third Western to his prestigious resume — and fans of the filmmaker might recognize the title because it’s something he’s been talking up since around 2000.
Tarantino told French publication Premiere Magazine (translated to English by Birth. Movies. Death.) that he might revisit his earlier idea to bring to life Forty Lashes Less One by author Elmore Leonard. He also might embark on a TV venture in imagining this story as a miniseries event.
It always takes me a while before thinking about the future. That said, I own the rights to this book [I’ve] wanted to adapt for a while, and the time may have come for me to tackle [it]. This is Forty Lashes Less One, [written by] Elmore Leonard…which could be my third western. [I’m] considering [taking the] project to TV, in the form of a miniseries of four or six hours.
The book is a violent tale of two inmates — one black, one white — in a hellish prison who become allies by necessity. This alone brings forth similarities to the stories told in Django and Hateful Eight, and we already know Tarantino knows how to transform something into a bloody fanfare. Due to the content, it sounds like something appropriate for HBO or Showtime. Though, given the prestige and buzz Netflix is chasing with its original offerings (see Beasts of No Nation and The Defenders series), I wouldn’t be surprised to see the streaming service jump at a chance to debut such a project — should Tarantino move forward with it next.
Here’s the official synopsis for Forty Lashes Less One from Amazon:
The hell called Yuma Prison can destroy the soul of any man. And it’s worse for those whose damning crime is the color of their skin. The law says Chiricahua Apache Raymond San Carlos and black-as-night former soldier Harold Jackson are murderers, and they’ll stay behind bars until they’re dead and rotting. But even in the worst place on Earth, there’s hope. And for two hard and hated inmates — first enemies, then allies by necessity — it waits at the end of a mad and violent contest … on a bloody trail that winds toward Arizona’s five most dangerous men.