Quentin Tarantino‘s second book, “Cinema Speculation,” hit bookstores everywhere earlier this month, and to celebrate, the director is on a nationwide book tour to promote his work. And while on tour, QT has had plenty to say about the movies he’s made, the movies that made him, and the movies he always wanted to make.
In a new Q&A with Deadline, Tarantino talks about one of the movie that slipped through his fingers. He also mentions the missed opportunity in “Cinema Speculation”: a remake of the 1973 film “The Outfit.” Based on Richard Stark‘s novel of that same name, John Flynn‘s film stars Robert Duvall as Macklin, a bank robber out for revenge on a criminal organization after hitmen kill his brother. The film also stars Karen Black, Joe Don Baker, Joanna Cassidy, and the legendary Robert Ryan play the Outfit’s leader, Mailer.
Tarantino talked to Deadline about his casting ideas for his “The Outfit” remake in conversation about other projects he almost made, like “Casino Royale.” “Like I said, that version — that might have been fun,” Tarantino said about his Bond movie idea. “It was so long ago that I can’t say that I wish I had done that rather than “Jackie Brown.” I don’t think I wish I had done any of these movies, more than the movies that I ultimately chose doing. The one that I mention in the book that was making me kind of wistful was, I did think of doing another adaptation of “The Outfit,” after “Jackie Brown,” with Robert De Niro as Parker and Harvey Keitel as Cody and Pam Grier as Bett. Since I didn’t make a movie for six years during that time, that’s the one that kind of bites a little bit because that could have fallen right in that time period.”
So, Tarantino planned to do “The Outfit” in between 1997’s “Jackie Brown” and 2003’s “Kill Bill: Volume 1.” Of course, like a lot of other ideas QT had at the time, the project never materialized. But imagine the scenario for a second. Grier in another Tarantino movie after a comeback performance of a lifetime in “Jackie Brown.” Late ’90s DeNiro, around the time he did “Ronin” and before he dived headlong into comedic roles, as the vengeful antihero. Keitel as DeNiro’s right hand man instead of doing wishy-washy stuff like “Lulu On The Bridge” for Paul Auster. It’s an idea that feels very much in Tarantino’s wheelhouse. Plus, it would’ve paired well with 1999’s “Payback,” another film based on Stark’s Parker character, played in that film by Mel Gibson.
Stark’s Parker novels were a popular series to adapt in Hollywood in their heydey. Other films based on Parker novels include Jean-Luc Godard‘s “Made In USA,” John Boorman‘s 1967 classic “Point Blank,” 1968’s “The Split” with Jim Brown, and 1983’s “Slayground,” which stars Peter Coyote as the Parker facsimile. “The Outfit” and “Point Blank” are the most fondly remembered Parker films, though, by a wide margin.
But could Tarantino make his remake of “The Outfit” for his tenth and final film? Don’t count it. Said Tarantino, “I haven’t started focusing on that yet. I’ll figure it out sometime in the next few years.” And that film will likely be an entirely original idea, so don’t expect QT to fall back on an idea for a remake he had 25 years ago. Besides, Tarantino’s secret eight-episode limited series is what comes next for the director.