Today it’s time to explore again the always fun field of parallel realities by the hand of Quentin Tarantino, a regular in this holy house, generally, for his intense comments on the seventh art and his favorite feature films. But today we are not going to continue feeding his verbiage, but to look at how different ‘Pulp Fiction’ could have been based on the list of provisional interpreters that was considered.
Depp vs. Roth
In addition to its many achievements in terms of staging, narrative structure, and screenplay, if anything helped ‘Pulp Fiction’ transcend its feature-length nature to become a popular icon still in force almost 20 years after its release, it’s its fantastic cast. But there was a time when John Travolta, Uma Thurman and Samuel L. Jackson did not lead the selection of candidates to play Vincent, Mia and Jules.
As Tarantino himself revealed in the podcast ‘2 Bears, 1 Cave’, his agent asked him to make a list with all the interpreters who could give life to their characters to, later, present a proposal with a face and eyes to the producers. Good old Quentin was clear: “My agent told me that everything on the list could be negotiated, so I wrote a huge list with many names.”.
In the document it can be seen that the filmmaker wrote the roles of Vince Vega, Jules, and Butch with Michael Madsen, Larry Fishburn, and Matt Dillon in mind. Finally, he had to opt for other options such as John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson and even for actors who did not appear on his list such as Bruce Willis and Uma Thurman.
But the big dispute between Tarantino and the producers revolved around a supporting role that only appears in the first and last scenes of the film. This is none other than Pumpkin, written for Tim Roth; a role that producer Mike Medavoy wanted to award to Johnny Deppand that the head of the title had to defend with the following argument:
“Do you think the fact that Johnny Depp is playing the role of pumpkin In this film, which only appears in the opening scene and in the finale, is the collection going to improve so much?
Medavoy’s negative response helped him give up, Roth became Pumpkin and ‘Pulp Fiction’ dazzled us with his display of genius in front of and behind the cameras.
Here you have the complete list of actors and actresses that Quentin Tarantino made for the occasion.