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INGLORIOUS BASTERDS

Chapter One - Writing
INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS's long gestation is best recounted via anecdotes shared by writer-director Quentin Tarantino's friends and colleagues. Pieces of the story and elements from the script would pop up in casual conversations between Tarantino and his friends. The "men on a mission” espionage epic borrows its title from "Inglorious Bastards,” Enzo Castellari's 1978 film. 

Castelleri, who makes a small cameo in the film explains, "It's a completely different movie, this is Quentin's own thing, this is not a remake this is—this is something that I inspired.”

Producer Lawrence Bender recalls the first time he heard Tarantino read him pieces of INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS: "It was at least ten years ago that he was in my office, reading scenes that just blew me away. I thought, ‘We've got to make this.'” Bender would have to wait. The script went through many incarnations over the next decade. As the years passed, the title remained the same, but plot lines came and went, and Tarantino tinkered with the idea of presenting the project as a television mini-series or writing it as a novel.

Nevertheless, the oft-discussed screenplay resurfaced here and there. Eli Roth, who plays "Basterd” Donny Donowitz, recalls: "My first encounter with INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS was in December of 2004, when Quentin read and acted out the entire Hitler monologue. It was my first time seeing what I now call ‘Quentin Tarantino Theater,' where he reads his screenplay and plays every character.”

Roth continues, "I remember saying that I was so completely blown away by what he had read me. For years he would call me and say, ‘Hey I got a new scene for INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS,' but then he put it down to do DEATH PROOF. About a year and a half ago he said, ‘I really think I want to finish INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS.'”

In the Spring of 2008, Tarantino also mentioned to Bender that he was focusing on INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS again. "I was excited for him because he seemed happy about it,” Bender remembers. "But I didn't realize that he was actually close to finishing it.” 

On Wednesday, July 2, 2008, Tarantino completed the final draft of INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS. 

Associate producer Pilar Savone, who has worked with Tarantino since her tenure as the 2nd Assistant Director on JACKIE BROWN, remembers the moment she got her hands on the script: "We call it ‘publishing day'—the day that he finishes, we get the script and send it out. He put it on my desk and we made copies. He called his friends and said, ‘I have my script. I've done it. Come up and get it.' He had a long list of people he wanted to give it to. People came in and out of the house to visit and pick up their copies. When we were almost at the end of the list I looked at all the girls in the office and I was like, ‘We need some wine.'”

"I got a call from him Thursday, July 3rd and Pilar sent me the script on Friday,” Bender recalls. "I scratched all my plans. I stayed home, I read the script once, and I was about to pick up the phone and I said, ‘I've got to read it again.' I sat down and read it all again. Needless to say I was pretty thrilled with it.”

Tarantino remembers "I spoke to Lawrence and he said ‘let's take a day.' So we got together on Sunday. We had a big meeting, we talked about it, and we decided we were going to go into production on Monday.”

Tarantino explains: "Each chapter in the movie has a vaguely different look, and a different feel, and the tone is different in all of them. The opening feels like a spaghetti western, but with WWII iconography.”

Special effects makeup artist Greg Nicotero, who has worked with Tarantino since RESERVOIR DOGS, was another early reader of the script. There was a vast difference between what he thought the film would be and what was contained in the scripts one hundred and sixty-four p

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