Tony Scott Asked To Direct 'Reservoir Dogs' Before Taking 'True Romance'

Quentin Tarantino hates “True Romance.” It’s one of those misheard and misunderstood bits of trivia that sticks in your head when you’re young. The truth is, the relationship between director Tony Scott and Tarantino was more collaborative and rewarding than trivia questions would have you believe. From the news that Scott initially offered to step back and let Tarantino direct “True Romance,” to Tarantino’s begrudging admiration of the film’s happy ending, there’s a lot worth exploring in the one collaboration between the two auteurs.

READ MORE: Quentin Tarantino Watched ‘Reservoir Dogs’ Every Day Of Its Initial Release

On a recent episode of The Rewatchables, a Bill Simmons-hosted podcast about our favorite repeat viewings, Tarantino shared his version of how Scott came to direct “True Romance.” Tarantino and Simmons were discussing “The Last Boyscout,” Scott’s cult-classic collaboration with screenwriter Shane Black, and the conversation naturally pivoted to Tarantino’s own experience with the filmmaker. After describing himself as a big fan of Scott’s films, Tarantino explains that he was introduced to the director by one of his former employees and that he (Tarantino) assumed that was as far as the conversation would go. At the 19:30 mark in the podcast, Tarantino explains how that relationship expanded:

“Apparently, he liked me, so he went to my friend and goes, ‘So, what’s Quentin’s deal? You said he’s a writer or something?’ And she goes, ‘Yeah, he’s written some scripts! He’s written two really, really good ones.’ ‘Well, I’d like to read them.’ So he gave him ‘True Romance’ and she gave him ‘Reservoir Dogs.’ And then he read them, and then he called her up and he goes, ‘OK! I wanna do ‘Reservoir Dogs!”
According to Tarantino, his friend then explained that the director had almost set up financing to direct the movie himself, and Scott, without missing a beat, then claimed “True Romance.” One buyout from Bill Lustig‘s production company later, Scott had a Quentin Tarantino project of his very own. In the end, “True Romance” may not be entirely a Tony Scott film, and it may not be entirely a Tarantino film, but it came from a place of respect. Whatever a Tony Scott-led ‘Reservoir Dogs’ might’ve been, it probably would’ve maintained that same creative energy.