The Crazy Story Behind Tarantino’s Scrapped Pixar Movie
What if I told you that the anime sequence in Kill Bill Vol. 1 wasn’t Quentin Tarantino’s only attempt at animation? The year was 2005 and Pixar was in the midst of a string of hit films: Monsters Inc, The Incredibles, and Finding Nemo were all recent smash hits at the box office. So upon receiving a tantalizing email from Mr. Reservoir Dogs himself and the success making him feel invincible, Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter basically said, “Fuck it. Let’s talk to Tarantino. Nobody can stop this train.”
Quentin’s pitch: A little hero’s journey called Gunny The Gun — the story of one talking wide-eyed handgun’s frightful suicide mission into the heart of the National Rifle Association. Ludicrous? You bet. But it only gets crazier from here.
Lasseter was a bit hesitant at the pitch dinner so he slugged down two glasses of Tarantino’s home-made “go go juice”, the contents of which are apparently what provides the writer-director’s deeply concerning energy we’ve seen in interviews. “So who’s gonna voice Gunny?” asks Lasseter. According to our anonymous source, Quentin leaned forward slowly and dramatically uttered, “Michael J Fucking Fox. Baby. Non-negotiable.” Then he belched loudly and left Lasseter alone in the room, failing to explain that he wasn’t coming back.
But Tarantino’s infectious energy must have impressed Lasseter because the very next day he walked into Pixar’s San Francisco office and assigned a special team for Gunny. When he explained the premise, several people fainted. “But if this movie has an anti-gun rights bent, how will these slow-motion shots of Gunny shooting NRA members set to The Rolling Stones’ It’s Only Rock n Roll help to serve that? Won’t it make gun violence look… cool?” asked a team member. “Also, don’t we make movies for children?” asked another.
“Maybe now they’ll take you seriously down in Hollywood, my man,” said Tarantino as he entered the lobby, poking at Lasseter’s signature Hawaiian shirt like a mean older brother.
The initial concept meeting was a complete disaster. Before the Pixar team could begin their normal story-breaking process, Tarantino whipped out his 437 page script and slammed it on the boardroom table. “We’re not changing a goddamn word of it,” he said, swinging an aggressive finger around the room. Several Pixar members walked out muttering, “I’d rather go work on this stupid talking cars movie…”
Apparently the script contained a swear word count in the thousands and is mostly one long transaction at a gun store between a hostile customer and a smooth-talking clerk who loves The Ramones… both of whom are also guns, by the way. “It’s a multi-layered commentary, okaaaayy?” explained Tarantino, “All the people are guns and they buy smaller guns and that way they can get into these cool stand off situations where they quote my old favorite kung fu movies, ya dig?” Lasseter took a full minute to process before asking, “So this is an anti-gun movie right? Because while I do agree with your political stance, I just feel…”
“Sorry, did you say anti gun?” responded Quentin, “The main character is himself a gun, John. I mean… what do you cartoon guys smoke up here? I wanna take a serious issue and use it as the backdrop for dope ass music and lots of shooting. Have you even seen any of my movies, daddio?”
Lasseter quickly shooed Tarantino away, calling off the deal. “Stupid… you’re so stupid, John. Frickin’ stupid,” Lasseter whispered to himself as he slowly closed his office door, vowing never to speak of Gunny The Gun ever again.
Pixar refused to comment on the story. Tarantino mailed us three signed photos of himself.