Quentin Tarantino: The Britney Spears/’Inglourious Basterds’ Connection

Quentin Tarantino is perhaps the most acclaimed filmmaker alive. He takes influence from all sorts of films. He once even took inspiration from a Britney Spears song.

Inglourious Basterds is Tarantino’s World War II movie. At the time of the Inglourious Basterds’ release, he shared a playlist of songs that he listened to during the writing of the movie. One of the tracks on the list was one of Spears’ lesser-known singles.

Quentin Tarantino | Martyn Goodacre/Getty Images

An unexpected cover from Britney Spears

Our story begins not with Tarantino or Spears, but with Bobby Brown. According to MTV, Brown released his hit “My Prerogative” in 1988. It remains one of his best-known songs and one of the most famous songs from the time when new jack swing dominated the pop charts. Spears later covered it for her aptly-titled greatest hits collection Greatest Hits: My Prerogative.

Spears’ version of the song was more influenced by techno music. It was not as big of a hit as many of Spears’ previous singles or later singles. However, some fans like it because it captures an era where Spears was growing into a more adult public image.

Brown applauded the video for the cover in an interview with New York Magazine but decried the cover itself. “Why try to fix something that ain’t broke? That’s what I say. But I’m grateful someone covered a song of mine. The check wasn’t bad either.”

The connection between ‘My Prerogative’ and Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Inglourious Basterds’

“My Prerogative” by Britney Spears

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Brown was not a fan of the track but Tarantino was. In the lead-up to the release of Inglourious Basterds, Tarantino shared a playlist of songs that helped inspire the film. The playlist included artists of different eras and genres. It gave fans an interesting look into his creative process.

According to MTV, Tarantino said “[This list includes] some of the music I was listening to while making my movie Inglourious Basterds. Now these songs don’t necessarily have a damn thing to do with the movie. These were some of the ones I was listening to in my off time.”

Spears’ version of “My Prerogative” was on the list. This turned many heads. It seemed odd that Tarantino was taking tuning into Spears, while making a violent movie about World War II.

“Cat People (Putting Out Fire)” by David Bowie

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David Bowie’s “Cat People (Putting out Fire)” was on the playlist as well. This made sense once the film premiered, as the song is used in a memorable scene in the film. Other songs on the playlist were curveballs, like Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours” and “S. Carter” by Jay-Z.

Although Spears’ “My Prerogative” was perhaps the most shocking song on the playlist, it still made sense in some way. Tarantino is a director known for combining elements of different filmmaking styles. Spears’ “My Prerogative” combines elements of Brown’s genre — new jack swing — with her signature electropop.

Also see: How Katy Perry’s ‘Tight, Sexy’ Dress Inspired a Britney Spears Hit