Quentin Tarantino in Django Unchained

Quentin Tarantino is kind of notorious for talking up projects that never actually get made. Kill Bill Vol. 3 might be the most famous example, but there’s also the Vega Brothers spinoff, Killer Crow, a 1930s gangster flick… the list goes on.

So you may want to take it with a grain of salt when we tell you he’s been going on again about Forty Lashes Less One, an adaptation of the novel by Elmore Leonard. The new twist, however, is that he’s not necessarily eyeing it as a movie — he thinks he might turn it into a TV series instead. Get the latest on the Quentin Tarantino Forty Lashes Less One project after the jump. 

Tarantino brought up Forty Lashes Less One in a conversation with Premiere magazine. In it, he notes that he still owns the rights to the book, which he says he’s “wanted to adapt for a while,” and comments that “the time may have come to tackle it.” The filmmaker also adds that he’s considering bringing the story to television, as a four- or six-hour miniseries. (You can read Tarantino’s full quote, translated into French, at the link above.)

Here’s the book jacket synopsis for Forty Lashes Less One, from Amazon:

The hell called Yuma Prison can destroy the soul of any man. And it’s worse for those whose damning crime is the color of their skin. The law says Chiricahua Apache Raymond San Carlos and black-as-night former soldier Harold Jackson are murderers, and they’ll stay behind bars until they’re dead and rotting. But even in the worst place on Earth, there’s hope. And for two hard and hated inmates — first enemies, then allies by necessity — it waits at the end of a mad and violent contest … on a bloody trail that winds toward Arizona’s five most dangerous men.

Forty Lashes Less One sounds like it’s right in Tarantino’s wheelhouse. We already know he’s an Elmore Leonard fan, as his 1997 movie Jackie Brown was based on Leonard’s Rum Punch. Tarantino also seems to be on a Western kick, between Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight. The premise suggests plenty of opportunities for stylish violence and copious bloodshed, as well as a chance for Tarantino to tackle racial issues once again.

Tarantino has been developing Forty Lashes Less One on and off for years. The project was first rumored around 2000, and as of 2007 he said he’d completed about twenty pages of the script and was still considering making it. But fast-forward to eight years later, and he doesn’t seem to have made a whole lot of progress. Maybe this time will be different, or maybe it’ll remain on Tarantino’s back burner until he loses the rights.

If Tarantino does proceed with Forty Lashes Less One, it’d be interesting to see what he can do with it on the small screen. Tarantino doesn’t have much experience with TV, but over the past few years we’ve seen an increasing number of filmmakers and movie stars dip their toe into the medium. Honestly, it doesn’t even have to be Forty Lashes Less One — it’d just be cool to see Tarantino try out TV, period.

Until that happens, though, at least we’ve got another Tarantino movie to look forward to. The Hateful Eight is out December 25, and the critical reaction so far has been blindingly bright.

Cool Posts From Around the Web: