Quentin Tarantino may be approaching the end of his movie career, but the legendary filmmaker has revealed he is currently working on a novel. Speaking at length with fellow director Martin Scorsese, Tarantino opened up about the literary project, noting he's been researching the story by watching classic foreign movies from the postwar era. Set in the 1950's, the story would follow a World War II veteran who's left unimpressed with Hollywood movies after his time at war. Hoping to find something to watch with effects more impressive than the "phony Hollywood stuff" typical of American movies at the time, the man begins seeking out quality foreign films. Here's how Tarantino describes the plot of the planned novel.
"Right now, I'm working on a book. And I've got this character who had been in World War II and he saw a lot of bloodshed there. And now he's back home, and it's like the '50s, and he doesn't respond to movies anymore. He finds them juvenile after everything that he's been through. As far as he's concerned, Hollywood movies are movies. And so then, all of a sudden, he starts hearing about these foreign movies by Kurosawa and Fellini..."
Additionally, Tarantino explains that he's been watching a plethora of foreign movies from the era to get better acquainted with them for the story. While enjoying them on a personal level, Tarantino is also imagining how the veteran character from his story would react to them, using his conclusions as inspiration.
"So now, I find myself having a wonderful opportunity of, in some cases, rewatching and, in some cases, watching for the first time movies I've heard about forever, but from my character's perspective. So I'm enjoying watching them but I'm also [thinking], 'How is he taking it? How is he looking at it?'"
In the summer, Tarantino's latest movie Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was released to great success, both with critics and at the box office. It's certified Fresh with an 85% rating at Rotten Tomatoes and managed to rake in more than $356 million in ticket sales. Set in 1969 Los Angeles, it features an ensemble cast telling multiple stories from a reimagined version of the "Golden Age of Hollywood." It starred such names as Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Margot Robbie, Emile Hirsch, Margaret Qualley, Timothy Olyphant, Al Pacino, Bruce Dern, Dakota Fanning, Austin Butler, and many more. Mike Moh also portrayed Bruce Lee for a scene in the movie which generated a slew of controversy.
Tarantino has gone on the record in saying his next feature film will be his last, making the movie that much more significant. While it's always possible Tarantino could change his mind, the plan at this point is for the director to call it quits after completing his next movie. This has led to Tarantino considering from a variety of options as to which direction he will go in his big screen project, and nothing is necessarily off the table. Previously, the director had said he was open to helming a horror movie. He's also claimed to be up for directing an R-rated Star Trek movie which he's already written a screenplay for. Still, as of this writing, no plans are officially on the board for Tarantino's next feature film.
At this point in Tarantino's career, it's clear anything created by the talented filmmaker is worth checking out. If and when this book sees publication, it will likely be a must-read for any major fan of the director. As such a natural storyteller in the film medium, it should also be a natural transition for Tarantino to become an author. You can read the full conversation between Scorsese and Tarantino at DGA.