Uma Thurman Confirms Quentin Tarantino's Next Film - 'A SOUTHERN'

Last month news of Quentin Tarantino's 8th feature film started to leak in drips and drabs - - first that it would be a Spaghetti Western titled The Angel, The Bad and The Wise (though that turned out to be a project he had hypthoised with Italian actor Franco Nero, likely for a Tarantino protege to direct) - - then AICN confirmed he was indeed working on a Spaghetti Western, albeit a different one to the project above and that it would star Col Hans Landa himself Christoph Waltz in a major role - - then Quentin confirmed to Deadline that his new script for a Western was just a few months away from being turned in at The Weinsteins and that it had 'just flowed out of him' and would probably shoot this year... - and then it was rumoured the movie would be his long talked about 'A Southern', a movie based on the American slave trade in Texas, a subject Tarantino has long wanted to explore on film... Things have been quiet for a few weeks but when Hollywood Outbreak had the chance to speak with actress and Tarantino muse Uma Thurman recently, she let slip and confirmed the subject matter and title;
€œI think he has a script ready to start of a new film, €˜A Southern€™, I think it€™s really exciting. It€™s another new story and a fresh piece of material that he is channeling at the moment."
Clearly, this is the same project that has been floating around in Tarantino's mind for years, I can trace it back to at least 2004 but I would imagine it originates way earlier. His last film Inglourious Basterds announced to the world that Quentin finally seems to be finishing off the projects that he has long wanted to make and has now set aside all excuses and distractions that saw him diverge to direct Grindhouse instead. There's an old Charlie Rose episode, as I say above I think it's the 2004 Kill Bill episode (no it's the 2009 Basterds episode, I've just confirmed) where Charlie asks Quentin which real life figure he would want to explore on screen in a biopic. Quentin gave his usual answer (which I agree with) that nobodies life is that interesting to do a full biopic but he has always been fascinated by the life of John Brown, a revolutionary U.S. abolitionist who planned a revolt in 1859 to end slavery for good. Wiki says;
He led the Pottawatomie Massacre in 1856 in Bleeding Kansas and made his name in the unsuccessful raid at Harpers Ferry in 1859. He was tried and executed for treason against the state of Virginia, murder, and conspiracy later that year. Brown has been called "the most controversial of all 19th-century Americans.
So can we presume he features in this film? You know, despite his European heritage, Christoph Waltz physically resembles Brown; On the Charlie Rose show, Tarantino said about a biopic he would want to make;
"There is one story that I could be interested in, but it would probably be one of the last movies... My favorite hero in American history is John Brown. He's my favorite American who ever lived. He basically single-handedly started the road to end slavery and the fact that he killed people to do it. He decided, 'If we start spilling white blood, then they're going to start getting the idea.' "
Tarantino has spoke a bunch about his intentions with A Southern earlier this year;
€œI€™d like to do a Western. But rather than set it in Texas, have it in slavery times. With that subject that everybody is afraid to deal with. Let€™s shine that light on ourselves. You could do a ponderous history lesson of slaves escaping on the Underground Railroad. Or, you could make a movie that would be exciting. Do it as an adventure. A spaghetti Western that takes place during that time. And I would call it €˜A Southern€™€
And way back in 2007 when promoting Grindhouse;
€œI want to explore something that really hasn€™t been done,€ he said at the time. €œI want to do movies that deal with America€™s horrible past with slavery and stuff but do them like spaghetti westerns, not like big issue movies. I want to do them like they€™re genre films, but they deal with everything that America has never dealt with because it€™s ashamed of it, and other countries don€™t really deal with because they don€™t feel they have the right to.€
What do we make of 'A Southern'? Well if you are familiar with one of Quentin's favourite ever films The Good, The Bad & The Ugly - the American civil war is firmly in the background of three larger than life figures and becomes a major set piece of Sergio Leone's epic and I imagine the slave revolt will provide the same function here. I imagine we will have the archetypal spaghetti western characters present with their own intentions and desires but set around the backdrop of this real life, historical situation. Think Inglourious Basterds and how the fates of three separate characters are brought together by the War itself, and how Quentin has created like a fantasy quasi-real universe... his own World War II that exists only in his mind. Quentin has long wanted to make a Western and a Slave Trade movie, and has blended the two here it seems. Pretty exciting right? And undoubtedly another epic... I love Quentin's energy right now. With the writer/director almost ready to turn in his script, I don't think it will be long until it leaks on the web... it seems the inevitable piece of the Tarantino pre-production process these days. And briefly - inevitably at the same interview, Uma was asked about a third entry into the Kill Bill saga, which she confirms is still on everyone's minds but will live somewhere 'down the road'. I'm not quite sure why she keeps being asked about it because Quentin has made it well known he wants to make the movie but only when Uma is noticeably older to make the story work, at least ten years since Kill Bill opened in 2003, but probably even longer.
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Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.