V. CREDITS CONTROVERSY
Q: You were a writer on “True Romance”?
A: I’m not credited as a writer on “True Romance”, but I consider the movie to be partially mine. The script branched out of an 80 page script I had written called “The Open Road”. Quentin went away with it and months later came back with a hand written tome of notebook papers cut and pasted together. I read it (and if you’ve ever seen Quentin’s writing you know that it’s like reading phonetic glyphs) and cried at how beautiful it was. Quentin is without question a genius. But the thing was a structural mess. I sat down with Quentin over the following year and weeded through the thing as we typed it into WordStar on my old Zenith 8086 kit computer (dot commands – ugh!). During that process we made changes, edited, added, and acted out every single scene in it. Of the scenes I specifically wrote were two that found their way eventually into “Pulp Fiction”: the bullets mystically not hitting their targets (originally it was Drexel); and the gun going off in the car (again, Drexel). The script had many bits that came and went into other scripts – like so many info-kernals that would eventually find their way into “Natural Born Killers”, “Pulp Fiction”, and probably several other, as yet unproduced, Quentin Tarantino films. By the way, I have every single draft of “True Romance” ever generated on disk. I’ve often thought that I should post them all here on the Internet along with the legal documents and partnership papers. Maybe I will when I find the time.
Q: Where can I get a copy of “The Open Road”?
A: You can’t, unless you can get it from Quentin. I won’t post it on the Internet because it still has a lot of material in it that I could plunder. Someday, when I’ve sucked its marrow dry, I’ll post it on Avary’s Domain.
Q: How come you only have a story by credit on “Pulp Fiction”?
A: Good question. I’m still asking myself that.
Q: What about the “Top Gun” speech in “Sleep With Me”? Did you write it?
A: I did, but not for “Sleep With Me”. That’s what you get for trying out your material with other writers.
Q: What did you write in “Natural Born Killers”?
A: Quentin was trying to get financing for “Natural Born Killers” back in the day when he was going to direct it. One source of money was from the Paul Brothers, these two body builder/actor types – but he had to include them in the film. He told me that he just couldn’t brink himself to write it, so he turned to me. As a favor to Quentin, I wrote a scene. This came at a low point in my career, but I wrote it with every ounce of energy I had – and I believe it to be the finest scene I’ve ever written…and it pulled me out of a slump. The next thing I know people are telling Quentin that the scene is the best thing in the script (Oliver Stone told me that it was his favorite scene, and his reason for doing the movie)…but Quentin would just nod when they told him how good it was, and he never told them I wrote it. That caused a bit of a rift in our friendship, because I thought it was kind of low of him. Whatever…it’s water under the bridge. I’m sure he had his reasons. The irony is that Stone ended up cutting the scene, saying that he “fucked it up.”
Q: What about the radio dialog in “Reservoir Dogs”?
A: I didn’t have anything to do with the Stephen Wright stuff. Quentin asked Craig Hamman and I to knock off some stuff to be used in the deep background of scenes. I couldn’t even tell you what I wrote. Just blather… "
In my opinion Avery is a talented filmmaker (Killing Zoe, Rules of Attraction) but not the brilliant genius Quentin is.
Just like with " City on Fire "Quentin tooke a lesser sourece and make something superior out of it. But it would be cool to read “Open Road”. What do you think ?