The Quentin Tarantino Archives logo

Re: The Roger Avary Credit controversy


#1

I don’t know if this has been discussed before…

Quentins pal from the Video Archieve day Roger Avary claims that Quention stole some of his ideas …



Here are Rogers own words on this controversy (from his site www.avery.com ) :



"

THE OPEN ROAD

An early screenplay of mine about the odd couple relationship between an uptight business man and an out-of-control hitch-hiker who travel into a Hellish mid-Western town together.



QUICK SKINNY: Only 70 pages long. Quentin Tarantino asks me if he can finish it. A year later it doesn’t resemble my original story in the slightest – he has, in fact, transformed it into something much more brilliant that will eventually become the bits and pieces that make up the foundations of “True Romance”, “Natural Born Killers”, and “Pulp Fiction”.





PANDEMONIUM REIGNS

“Pulp Fiction” was originally to be three short films by three directors: Quentin Tarantino, Adam Rifkin, and myself. Adam declined it and Quentin and I expanded our short scripts into “Pandemonium Reigns” and what would eventually become “Reservoir Dogs”. After “Dogs”, Quentin told me he wanted to do “Pulp”, but do them all himself – and he wanted my script for it. So we went to Amsterdam with all of our favorite scenes that had never found their way into a movie and pasted them together to make “Pulp Fiction”. I’ve included an excerpt from the original “Pandemonium Reigns” script here to illustrate the evolution.



QUICK SKINNY: Script collapsed and folded into “Pulp Fiction”.





NATURAL BORN KILLERS

Oliver Stone’s deconstruction of Quentin Tarantino’s script. Shades of Stanley Kubricks deconstruction of Stephen King’s “The Shining”.



QUICK SKINNY: Wrote one scene as a favor for Quentin. When people started telling him they thought it was the best scene in the script he neglected to remember that I wrote it.





PULP FICTION

Much has been made about the failed relationship between Quentin and I. What’s true and what’s false?



QUICK SKINNY: Enjoying the residuals. Biographies are a joke.





RESERVOIR DOGS

Quentin Tarantino’s masterpiece. Once a piece of “Pulp Fiction”, expanded into a feature length film.



QUICK SKINNY: Helped out a friend. Did very little, really. Designed the logo for Dog Eat Dog Productions and wrote some radio stuff. Had fun.





SLEEP WITH ME

Wonderful little film directed by Rory Kelly. Featuring Quentin Tarantino doing my rift on the homosexual undertones of Tony Scott’s “Top Gun”.



QUICK SKINNY: Important lesson learned. Intellectual properties can be taken from you if you put them in the air. Result is to never speak to anyone else ever again and withdraw from society. Keep few friends and speak to them rarely.





TRUE ROMANCE

Tony Scott’s brilliant rendering of Quentin Tarantino’s beautiful screenplay.



QUICK SKINNY: I’m asked constantly what I had to do with this film – and the answer to that question is too complicated to encapsulate in a quick skinny. The story is long enough to fill an entire webpage – which I am working on (I plan on including every draft ever written so that the evolution of the screenplay can be tracked!).





QUENTIN TARANTINO

Eccentric and brilliant videostore clerk turned into Hollywood megastar.



QUICK SKINNY: Love him like a brother. Can never speak to him again without feeling as though he’ll take my intellectual properties. I’m sure he feels the same way about me.


#2

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 ?


#3

i found this out awhile back and heres the conclusion i came to roger writes good scenes quentin writes good movies



and i would like to read that script, cause i i wanna see how the scene where vince accidently shot marvin in the face originally played out


#4

Im VERY glad QT isnt writing with Avary anymore. I think Avary was a bag on QTs hip.



I honestly dont like Avarys movies. Ive seen Mr Stitch, Killing Zoe and Rules of Attraction and disliked them all.



Avary has NOTHING to do with the greatness of QTs films. QT owes NOTHING to Avary. I dont care what he said or says.


#5

Does anybody remember on the True Romance commentary, QT said that he started The Open Road, and got up to page 300.


#6

Tarantino OWES plenty to TAvary Vic…like Avary stated, he came up with the magic bullets and the accidental shooting…two of the most MEMORABLE and IMFAMOUS scenes in the film and film history.



I think Avary has more of good story ideas and Tarantino has the great dialogue…Tarantino knows a good story (Jackie Brown) then he’s able to put his touch on it. I think Avary is a genius for coming up with lots of the plotlines for Pulp Fiction (he got the whole Gold Watch scene, just not the dialogue) I think Avary should write another script, hand it to Tarantino to add the great dialogue and “Tarantino touch” and just snag another Oscar for best original screenplay.


#7

Yeah…Avary is kinda like the George Lucas of the Pulp Indies world. He can come up with great, broad ideas, but seriously lacks on the follow through (dialogue and direction). I’ll reserve judgement on QT’s actual writing ability (beyond dialogue and a wonderful attention to detail) until after Kill Bill and Inglorious Bastards are out. Still, I’d like to see them do a reunion movie or something of the sort somewhere off in the distant future.


#8

Personally Killing Zoi is one movie that just hits me hard. I don’t know but it just has that darkness that hits me right in the spine. When we see Eric fall to such a low in such a short time it makes me feal how he feals. It is not about the story the story just pushes the characters emotions and think that it was done wonderfully. But i will agree that if Quentin had wrote the script it could have been better.


#9

but i gotta say i hated rules of attraction, am i alone here?


#10

[quote]
Avary has NOTHING to do with the greatness of QTs films. QT owes NOTHING to Avary.  I dont care what he said or says.
[/quote]

ok. read the above posts again, and if you can read then you’ll see that he in fact owes something to avary.



I think its bullshit to bring all this up again, but that’s just the way it was, no matter how you crawl up tarantino’s ass…


#11

Avary is a hack. Just admit it. And Kentucky Fried Motherfucker, you can shut the fuck up once again, stop telling me shit I already know!!



Avary isnt the ANYTHING of ANYTHING. Classic scenes my ass.



Avary has SHIT ideas. Who fuckin cares if he wrote The Gold Watch story and other little pieces of story in the other films ? I think Pulp Fiction wouldve been 100% better if QT hadnt used any of Avarys ideas.



Seriously, fuck off with the Avary shit guys. I dont give a fuck and I dont care what Avary did. QT is the master writer/director. Hes the captain of his own ship.



You cant change my mind and you cant make me like Avary. I think he sucks. Its been over 10 years and QT AINT workin with Avary or Rodriguez (another hack) anymore. So just keep dreamin.


#12

He must being doing something right in order to make you so passionate on the subject, Vic.


#13

I didn’t dislike RULES of ATTRACTION



Killing Zoe was decent


#14

[quote]He must being doing something right in order to make you so passionate on the subject, Vic.[/quote]

Not passionate, annoyed. I think people are making Avary out to be something hes not. Hes not a very good writer and hes not a very good filmmaker. Yes, Avary contributed some of the ideas to QTs films, but the bottom line is, QT never needed Avary to create his masterpieces. He couldve easily done something different from what Avary gave to him to use and it most likely wouldve been 100 X better.



If you honestly think Roger Avary is what made Pulp or True Romance as good as what they were, I feel sorry for you.


#15

[quote]
He couldve easily done something different from what Avary gave to him to use and it most likely wouldve been 100 X better.
[/quote]

but he didn’t :wink:



I am doing this to annoy Toothpick :wink: And it’s funny.


#16

[quote]If you honestly think Roger Avary is what made Pulp or True Romance as good as what they were, I feel sorry for you.
[/quote]

I never said that Avary was repsonsible for Pulp Fiction and True Romance being as good as they were - that was all QT’s work. But that doesn’t mean that Avary held absolutely no responsibility for any of the originality of the success of the stories themselves. Remember, it was QUENTIN who asked Avary if he could borrow some of those ideas. Albeit he made them a hundred times better and in conjunction with more entertaining sequences than Avary could ever have imagined, but the seeds for some of those scenes DID come from Avary’s imagination.



Quentin doesn’t need Avary, but he is a social sponge - he DOES need a base idea or a source of conversational dialogue in order to make what is happening and what is being spoken sound more original/realistic. Everything from the Gold Watch segment in Pulp (Avary), to the nigger speech in True Romance (forget the guy’s name), etc., all came from other sources. That doesn’t take away from QT’s genius, but you have to give a little credit to the sources he pulls his stuff from…just like you’re gonna have to give David Carradine some credit for “coming up” with some of the original dialogue we’ll see in Kill Bill Volume 2. In this case, I think Avary deserves a bit of credit for how QT’s earlier movies turned out…maybe not as much as he thinks he deserves, but some.


#17

[quote]


I never said that Avary was repsonsible for Pulp Fiction and True Romance being as good as they were - that was all QT’s work.  But that doesn’t mean that Avary held absolutely no responsibility for any of the originality of the success of the stories themselves.  Remember, it was QUENTIN who asked Avary if he could borrow some of those ideas.  Albeit he made them a hundred times better and in conjunction with more entertaining sequences than Avary could ever have imagined, but the seeds for some of those scenes DID come from Avary’s imagination.



Quentin doesn’t need Avary, but he is a social sponge.



That doesn’t take away from QT’s genius, but you have to give a little credit to the sources he pulls his stuff from…just like you’re gonna have to give David Carradine some credit for “coming up” with some of the original dialogue we’ll see in Kill Bill Volume 2.



In this case, I think Avary deserves a bit of credit for how QT’s earlier movies turned out…maybe not as much as he thinks he deserves, but some.[/quote]

ALL great writers are social sponges. Is that a bad thing? Not at all. QT is a writer, all writers need bases for their stories. All writers are inspired or influenced by those who came before them. Its just the natural order of things. Maybe if Avary had more talent as a writer, he’d be making more films and he wouldnt have to leech off of QTs name forever.



Avary got his Oscar for helping out on Pulp Fiction. No problem there. I think thats plenty of credit. Whatever he does after that is up to him. Good or bad.



QT is on his own now and hes doing just fine.


#18

Ah, then we are at an agreement. I assumed you were one of those that believed Avary didn’t even deserve to have his name on the Screenwriting Oscar.


#19

[quote]Rodriguez (another hack) [/quote]
RR is absolutly NOT A FUCKING HACK!!!

You mother fucker.


#20

[quote]
RR is absolutly NOT A FUCKING HACK!!!

You mother fucker.
[/quote]


+1