‘Pulp Fiction’: Quentin Tarantino Didn’t Initially Think He Made a Real Movie – ‘It Seemed Like a Crazy Quentin Movie’

Quentin Tarantino‘s Pulp Fiction was a bit of a risk. It evolved over the course of the writing phase. Movie studios would have been unsure whether to take a chance on a movie such as this. The iconic film is commonly referred to as one of the best movies of all time. Tarantino once said that he didn’t think Pulp Fiction was a real movie at first. He perceived it as being a bit too out there.

‘Pulp Fiction’ started as an anthology

'Pulp Fiction' filmmaker Quentin Tarantino looking off to the side wearing a suit
Quentin Tarantino | Frank Trapper/Corbis via Getty Images

Tarantino was coming off 1992’s Reservoir Dogs. The movie is rightfully hailed as a triumph in independent filmmaking. Financiers took a chance on a young, promising Tarantino. Pulp Fiction was originally developed as an anthology that includes other filmmakers’ voices. However, Tarantino made the decision to pursue the project as his next movie.

Pulp Fiction follows the story of two mob hitmen, a boxer, a gangster and his wife, and a couple of bandits. Their tales meld into one complete story. However, it’s told through non-linear storytelling. Tarantino is accustomed to structuring his movies similar to novels with chapters.

Quentin Tarantino wasn’t so sure about ‘Pulp Fiction’

Fellow filmmaker Robert Rodriguez interviewed Tarantino for the El Rey Network. They discussed Tarantino’s filmography, including Pulp Fiction. Rodriguez recalled a story from when Tarantino screened the movie for his director friends and his uncertainty surrounding the iconic movie.

“It was even weird for you…Sunday, May 1st, 1994,” Rodriguez recounted. “We went to dinner, we talked movies. At 2:30 in the morning, we were about to leave and I asked you, ‘Oh, how is Pulp Fiction coming out?’ Because I didn’t get to see you at a screening for a bunch of your director friends. I was in Texas, so I wasn’t there.”

“And you went, ‘Eh, I don’t know. It doesn’t feel like a real movie,'” Rodriguez recalled. “I said, ‘What do you mean?” You said, ‘Well, it still feels like a movie Quentin would make. Doesn’t feel like I made a real movie yet.’ And you know, we try to be supportive. I’ve seen how excited you were from the beginning, and you being a little down. I was trying to be a supportive friend…”

Tarantino responded, “But it didn’t seem like a real movie. It seemed like a crazy Quentin movie (laughs).”

Quentin Tarantino has a signature style

The Pulp Fiction filmmaker has a specific style that audiences have grown to admire. However, he wasn’t always sure if being so different was a bit too much. Other movies such as The Hateful Eight, Django Unchained, and Kill Bill: Vol. 1 and Kill Bill: Vol. 2 also fully embrace Tarantino’s isms.

“But, it’s also interesting though, because we all want to do something different and in our own way,” Tarantino said on the El Rey Network. “But, when you’re watching it with a regular, old audience for the first time, you don’t really want it to be that different. You want them to recognize it somewhat as a real movie that they might see on a Saturday night (laughs).”

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