Quentin Tarantino Reveals Why James Bond Producers Shut Down His Movie

After Pulp Fiction, Quentin Tarantino wanted to direct a James Bond movie.

By Jonathan Klotz | Published

Quentin Tarantino is not only a successful director but a lover of cinema, which ranges from Super Mario Brothers to Akira Kurosawa movies but even a filmmaker with his pedigree was turned down from working with James Bond. IndieWire reported an interview the Kill Bill creator gave to Deadline in which he explained his failed attempt to adapt Ian Fleming’s first novel. After Pulp Fiction took the box office by storm, Tarantino tried to get the rights to Casino Royale for a one-and-done tale of 007.

This was long before Daniel Craig‘s adaptation. Quentin Tarantino had a plan to make his dream come true, as he explained: “We reached out to the Ian Fleming people, and they had suggested that they still own the rights to Casino Royale, and that’s what I wanted to do after Pulp Fiction was do my version of Casino Royale, and it would’ve taken place in the ’60s and wasn’t about a series of Bond movies. We would have cast an actor and be one and done. So I thought we could do this.”

Quentin Tarantino’s attempt to do a runaround and bypass Albert and Barbara Broccoli, the producers that have held control of the James Bond franchise for decades, ran into a legal roadblock. As it turns out, the Broccolis made a deal with Ian Fleming’s estate for the movie rights to all of his books, stopping anyone from trying to acquire the book rights for an adaptation. Even then, the producers were fans of Tarantino’s work, but considered his gritty style to be a poor fit for the suave super spy.

As Quentin Tarantino relates, “I was always told very flattering versions of like, ‘Look, we love Quentin, but we make a certain kind of movies, and unless we f**k it up, we make a billion dollars every time we make that type of movie, OK? We don’t want him to do it.”

quentin tarantino

The producers admit that Quentin Tarantino writing and directing a James Bond film would be a hit, just not the billion-dollar type of hit they have been used to since the days of Sean Connery. When Tarantino was thinking of making Casino Royale, Goldeneye with Pierce Brosnan was in production, and given the campy nature of his tenure as Bond, it makes sense why the man that would go on to write Inglorious Basterds was a poor fit.

Quentin Tarantino’s inability to direct in a major franchise isn’t limited to just James Bond, as for a few years, his name was attached to Star Trek, and at one point, he was publicly mentioned as being involved with the MCU. The superhero rumor was thoroughly debunked when Tarantino proclaimed that anyone starring in one of those movies wasn’t a real movie star, sparking backlash from fans and actors alike.

At this point, Quentin Tarantino will never direct a James Bond, Star Trek, Star Wars, or Stargate film since he’s working on his final film, The Movie Critic. With a filmography of only 10 films, Tarantino will have one of the greatest hit-to-miss ratios of any director in Hollywood history. Not much is known about the film, though it’s expected to, like Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, be rooted in the 70s and might be about Pauline Kael, a trailblazing female movie critic of the era.