Quentin Tarantino says the failure of Death Proof shook his confidence and he started receiving proposals from Hollywood again as a result.
Quentin Tarantino has been fortunate in that all of his movies have been successful… with the exception of Death Proof. The film was one-half of the Grindhouse double feature with Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terrorbut audiences didn’t know what to make of it. Death Proof only grossed $31 million in its standalone release, and Tarantino said that the movie’s failure shook his confidence.
While speaking to Spain’s Diari ARA (via Variety) during his Cinema Speculation book tour, Quentin Tarantino reflected on the performance of Death Proof. “I have been lucky enough to write stories that have connected with many people, and this has allowed me to practice my art without the restrictions that most filmmakers have,” Tarantino said. “Now, a funny thing happened: for a while I was getting a lot of project proposals, until the studios ended up assuming that I do my stories and it wasn’t worth the effort. But after ‘Death Proof,’ which didn’t do well at the box office and was a bit of a shock to my confidence, I started getting proposals again.”
Rather than taking one of those studio proposals, Quentin Tarantino chose to continue on his own path. “They must have thought, ‘Perhaps now he’s touched and his temper has gone down, now is the time,’” Tarantino said. “And there’s nothing wrong with making movies commissioned for Hollywood. They always offered me interesting projects. But I preferred to reinvest in myself and made ‘Inglourious Basterds.’“Could a world exist in the multiverse where he did accept Hollywood’s proposal and Quentin Tarantino’s Marley & Me is a thing?
Quentin Tarantino admitted in 2020 that he had assumed audiences were more familiar with the history of double features than they were. “With Grindhouse, I think me and Robert just felt that people had a little more of a concept of the history of double features and exploitation movies,” Tarantino said. “No, they didn’t. At all. They had no idea what the f**k they were watching. It meant nothing to them, alright, what we were doing. So that was a case of being a little too cool for school.“
The filmmaker is preparing to shoot what is expected to be his tenth and final movie. There aren’t too many details about the project yet, only that it will be set in the 1970s and will be titled The Movie Critic.
What did you think of Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof?