Quentin Tarantino's Work On The Hateful Eight Started As A Continuation Of Django Unchained

Throughout his career, Quentin Tarantino has teased an expanded universe of adventures for his original characters. For years he dropped breadcrumbs about "Double V Vega," a yarn about ill-fated criminal brothers Vincent and Vic Vega (John Travolta and Michael Madsen respectively). He's also discussed the possibility of a third "Kill Bill" film (or second if you, like me, consider the two volumes as one movie split solely for commercial considerations), which could involve The Bride's daughter (possibly Maya Hawke) and/or Vernita Green's kid Nikki (Ambrosia Kelley, who witnessed The Bride's murder of her mother).

Given that Tarantino seems pretty serious about ending his directorial career after his next movie, these hypothetical projects will probably never go before cameras. But as he demonstrated recently with his novelization of "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood," he's more than happy to explore these characters' backstories and inner lives in prose. This isn't a new development. In fact, we nearly got to read about the further adventures of Jamie Foxx's Django before the story wound up turning into something else entirely.

Could Django saddle up again?

In a 2015 interview with GQ, Quentin Tarantino revealed that he began writing a prose sequel to "Django Unchained." As he told the magazine's Zach Baron, "I liked the idea of creating a new pop-culture, folkloric hero character that I created with Django, that I think's gonna last for a long time." In fact, he saw it as something Black fathers and sons could share. Per Tarantino:

"I think as the generations go on and everything, you know, my hope is it can be a rite of passage for Black fathers and their sons. Like, when are they old enough to watch 'Django Unchained?' And when they get old enough — 14 or 15 or something like that — then maybe it's something that they do with their fathers, and it's a cool thing. And then Django becomes their cowboy hero. And so I like the idea of maybe like a series of paperbacks coming out, 'Further Adventures of Django,' and so I was really kind of into that idea."

There was just one problem: his snowbound Django prose turned into "The Hateful Eight," which does not feature the character. "The number one thing I had to do was get rid of Django," joked Tarantino.

If Tarantino is truly dead set on retiring from filmmaking (and, as you've read, he has a track record of changing his mind on a whim), it seems entirely possible that these scuttled projects could get salvaged as novels or, who knows, comic books. Maybe he'd be open to other directors or screenwriters pursuing series with these characters (he surprisingly signed off on an episodic presentation of "The Hateful Eight" for Netflix). Tarantino has proven surprisingly malleable in his later years. I, for one, would love to see Django ride again.