Quentin Tarantino Has Written a Western TV Series; Wants to Direct Every Episode

     July 18, 2019

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Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino may be retiring from making movies after his 10th film, but that doesn’t mean he won’t still be directing. Indeed, while Tarantino is no stranger to the TV format having helmed episodes of ER and CSI quite some time ago, the filmmaker recently revealed that he’s secretly written five episodes of a Western TV series called Bounty Law that he hopes to direct. The kicker? It’s a tie-in of sorts to his new film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Hollywood is Tarantino’s ninth feature film, and it takes place in 1969 and follows a fading TV star who’s failed to make the successful jump to major feature films. The character’s name is Rick Dalton, and he’s played by Leonardo DiCaprio in the movie. But in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, the TV show that Dalton is most famous for is a Western TV series called Bounty Law. Tarantino shot portions of Bounty Law for its depictions in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, but in a new interview with Deadline, the writer-director reveals that he actually wrote episodes of the show that he intends to direct.

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Image via Sony Pictures

After finishing the screenplay for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Tarantino says he wrote five episodes of the TV-show-within-the-movie Bounty Law to get inside Rick Dalton’s head, and now he wants to make them:

“From watching the different old Western shows and everything, I did it to get in the head of Bounty Law. I ended up starting to really like the idea of Jake Cahill, as a character. I really started loving those half hour ’50s Western scripts. The idea that you could write something like 24 minutes, where there was so much story crammed in those half hour shows, with a real beginning and a middle and an end. Also it was kind of fun because you can’t just keep doubling down and exploring. At some point, you’ve got to wrap it up. I really liked that idea. I’ve written five different episodes for a possible Bounty Law black-and-white half hour Western show.”

The filmmaker admits that it’s unlikely DiCaprio would reprise his role for the TV series, but he’s open to recasting and essential puts out the onus on Netflix or whoever to call him, and he’ll direct it:

“I can’t imagine Leonardo is going to want to do it. [Maybe I’ll] cast somebody else? If he wants to do it that would be great. I’m not planning on that but I have an outline for about three other episodes. So I’ll probably write about three other episodes and then just do it. Direct every episode. They’re a half hour long. I wouldn’t mind doing it for Netflix but I’d want to shoot it on film. Showtime, HBO, Netflix, FX. But I also like the fact that I built up this mythology for Bounty Law and Jake Cahill.”

This is tremendously on-brand for Tarantino, and I’d love to see him do it. The filmmaker famously flirted with turning his unwieldy Inglourious Basterds screenplay into a miniseries before editing it down to a feature film, so he’s been considering writing for TV for some time now.

Though it must also be said that Tarantino has spoken about grand plans many times in the past that have never come to fruition. Everything from the fabled Vega Brothers movie to Kill Bill: The Whole Bloody Affair, which edits Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 together into one giant movie (which exists, but hasn’t been released widely). So who knows if Bounty Law happens—especially if he does actually go off to make a Star Trek movie next—but I like his enthusiasm, and I’d watch this in a heartbeat.

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