With The Hateful Eight only a few weeks from release, Quentin Tarantino’s follow up projects are now the new talking point for fans to theorize and obsess over for a year or two. QT has already said there is a cap on the number of films he will direct because he doesn’t want to get old and stale (that number varies from time to time, but somewhere between two to four more films), but what if he were to head to television for his next project instead?
Tarantino has been talking about Elmore Leonard’s western Forty Lashes Less One for well over a decade now, but has never gotten it past the early screenwriting stage. Having already adapted Leonard with his 1997 film Jackie Brown, Quentin Tarantino’s sensibilities have always felt in lock and step with Elmore Leonard. In a recent interview with Premiere magazine, QT discussed adapting the novel, possibly for the small screen:
“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.”
Here is the synopsis for Forty Lashes Less One, which sounds pretty much like a QT film already:
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.
It would seem strange for Tarantino, who loves bouncing around between genres, would take on his third western in a row. There is still so much for him to do as a filmmaker, and with a limited number of films he wants to direct, tackling a television project might zap the desire right out of him. At the same time, it would be fun to see what Tarantino would do with an expanded time slot on a cabe network. This screams of an HBO collaboration similar to what Martin Scorsese has started doing recently with Boardwalk Empire and now Vinyl.