Monday, September 14, 2015

Check This Out: The "Pulp Fiction" Wish List

Uma Thurman
By now, you've likely formed your own opinions about director Quentin Tarantino and his films. Even then, the most common moment of applause comes from Pulp Fiction, which is often considered his masterpiece. From the music to the screenplay, it is a top notch film that you cannot see going any other possible way. In fact, Tarantino has been applauded for his ability to cast people and reinvigorate careers. With a recent document floating around Reddit, now's a moment to theorize what history could have looked like if Tarantino's film didn't end up as it did. What follows is a look at the wish list for Pulp Fiction, including a lot of various and impressive surprises.

It may be hard to imagine these roles any other way. You can't see anyone but Samuel L. Jackson or John Travolta in those roles. While there's speculation on if this document is real, there's plenty of interesting thought to be put into what is here. Check it out below:

In some cases, the first choice was the final choice, thus leaving little excitement to the final product. However, it is exciting to see which names on here keep popping up randomly and who received the most repeated mentions on this list. Among those that constantly keep popping up are Johnny Depp, Christian Slater, Michael Keaton, and Bridgit Fonda. It's interesting to also see his lead for his follow-up Jackie Brown Pam Grier also on the list for Jody.

Like most people, I feel like there's names that clearly standout. I will list five that would have been, at very least, interesting and why they are so appealing.

1. Phoebe Cates (Honey Bunny) - I think that the role is perfect as it is, but now I kind of want to imagine what this role would have done for Cates. Best known for Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Gremlins, she could have used the role to progress into more dramatic and complicated roles. Considering that her career post-1994 hasn't been the most acclaimed, this could have been like a John Travolta resurgence role. In a way, I kind of want to see the Cates version of this, if just to see if she could escape her teenage sexpot typecast roles and added a certain ferocity to the role.

2. Michael Keaton (Vincent) - It could just be that Birdman is in recent memory, but I feel like he would have been a very interesting selection for this role. He was the cocky actor coming off of Beetlejuice and Batman movies. He was young and cocky in ways that I felt would have added a nice touch to that role. Maybe there wouldn't be as much deliberate comedy as Travolta brought to the role, but he definitely would have been sinister in a way keeping with Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs characters. I'd imagine he'd sound like a gangster version of his Birdman character, which wouldn't be all that bad.

3. Sofia Coppola (Jody) - Mind you, Coppola was coming off of The Godfather: Part III. Even if that film is misunderstood, there is one common complaint: Coppola is awful in it. I cannot say she's as bad as people say, but I don't know what Tarantino saw in putting her on the list. Even if she would have a few risque moments throughout her films, she never struck me as someone who could be that outwardly vulgar as a character. Part of me is fascinated by this choice not only because I want to understand the logic behind it, but also what the Coppola dealing heroin scene would have been like.

4. Jennifer Jason Leigh (Jody) - Let's just consider that Leigh would eventually work with Tarantino on The Hateful Eight. Also, the praise that he has given her for her performance should suggest that maybe they should have worked together before. While this is still wish listing and doesn't have any deeper meaning, I do wonder if he would have been more indicative of helping her career trajectory if she had a 20 year start on The Hateful Eight. Maybe she would have been a fellow muse alongside Uma Thurman. Who knows. Still, it would have been an adequate substitute, and one that probably would have gotten her on Tarantino's good graces a lot sooner.

5. Gary Oldman (Lance) - It may essentially be his character from True Romance, but it would have been a rather interesting one at that. In the 90's, Oldman was great at overacting, and this likely would have been the perfect fit for a character of that ilk.

What alternative casting interests you the most from this list?

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