Since 2000, Quentin Tarantino's been talking up an adaptation of Elmore Leonard's Forty Lashes Less One (at one point, he even claimed to have written 20 pages' worth of the screenplay), and now - with Hateful Eight in the can and ready to hit theaters on Christmas - it appears the project may be back near the top of his to-do list. Speaking with Premiere Magazine, Tarantino had the following to say (note: editorial adjustments are to account for the quote being translated over from the original French):
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 mini-series of four or six hours.
A glance at the plot description for Forty Lashes Less One reveals that the subject matter's entirely within Tarantino's wheelhouse: there's violence, there's racial tension, there's bad motherfuckers on a mission to hunt down a quintet of even badder motherfuckers. And it's a western, which is something we know Tarantino's been very interested in lately. It's also Elmore Leonard, an author Tarantino has adapted with great success (some would say career-best success) in the past.
All of that sounds very good, but the really intriguing element here is the idea of Tarantino taking his next project to television. Imagine a four-to-six hour Tarantino joint airing on HBO or Netflix. What would Tarantino do, free of the MPAA and time constraints and blah, blah, blah? More importantly, what network wouldn't want to roll the dice on such a project? TV has been drawing bigger and bigger stars and directors for some time, but this would be one of the medium's biggest "gets" ever.
On a personal note: more Tarantino is always worth being excited about, and I'm certainly interested in the idea of this director running wild on television. What I'm not so wild about is the idea of Tarantino doing his third consecutive western. Every once in a while, Tarantino will kick around this idea of retiring after X number of films, and I'd hate to see us reach a "Tarantino cap" without the director first taking on the horror genre. Of course the retirement talk is probably just that - talk - but Tarantino's mentioned the idea often enough that I can't help but take it somewhat seriously.
But that's just me. How would you guys feel about another Tarantino western? And, more importantly, how do you feel about Tarantino possibly moving to television?