Quentin Tarantino Is Working on a Western TV Show

We’re just a week away from the release of Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and the famously loquacious director is promoting his film in full force. In a brand new interview with Deadline, Tarantino spoke about the film, recent controversies, and possible future projects, including his planned Star Trek feature film and a Western TV series that would (ideally) star Leonardo DiCaprio.

In Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, DiCaprio plays Rick Dalton, a washed-up TV star made famous from a fictional Western series, Bounty Law. In creating the show-within-a-movie, Tarantino steeped himself in the career of Burt Reynolds, whom Dalton is modeled after and who starred in the real Western series Gunsmoke in the 1960s. (Reynolds was originally set to appear in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood as Spahn Ranch owner George Spahn, but passed away during production and was replaced by Bruce Dern.) Writing the film centered Tarantino in the world of half-hour Western series, which inspired him to keep going. In fact, he told Deadline he wrote five episodes of Bounty Law and hopes to turn it into a real spinoff series.

Here’s what he said about the potential show and his inspiration:

I really started loving those half hour ’50s Western scripts. The idea that you could write something like 24 minutes, where there was so much story crammed in those half hour shows, with a real beginning and a middle and an end. Also it was kind of fun because you can’t just keep doubling down and exploring. At some point, you’ve got to wrap it up. I really liked that idea. I’ve written five different episodes for a possible Bounty Law black-and-white half hour Western show.

Tarantino also noted that, should the project go forward, he hopes Leonardo DiCaprio would “want to do it,” although he said it could still exist with another actor playing his character, Jake Cahill. He also said he’ll likely write three more episodes (making it eight episodes total) and that he plans direct every episode, with hopes of shopping it to a network like Showtime or HBO, or a streaming service like Netflix.

Elsewhere in the interview, Tarantino briefly mentioned that he’s written a play, and also touched on his announced Star Trek film, which is still in the early stages of discussion. He confessed that his interest in William Shatner got him into the original Star Trek series, calling Captain Kirk his “umbilical cord” to the franchise. He also took a moment to complain about Simon Pegg, who has previously said that Tarantino’s Star Trek wouldn’t be Pulp Fiction in space. In fact, Tarantino confirmed, it will be just that—sort of. “If I do it, that’s exactly what it’ll be,” the director said. He “It’ll be Pulp Fiction in space. That Pulp Fiction-y aspect, when I read the script [written by Mark L. Smith], I felt, I have never read a science fiction movie that has this shit in it, ever.”

We’re not sure what, specifically, he’s referring to, but we have to imagine he means the non-traditional narratives and extreme violence that made Pulp Fiction such a standout entry in ’90s movie canon.

Images: Gage Skidmore/Wiki Commons