What Happened to Tarantino’s ‘Pulp Fiction’ & ‘Reservoir Dogs’ Prequel?

The Big Picture

  • Quentin Tarantino had plans for a prequel called Double V Vega that would have combined his iconic films Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs.
  • The movie would have followed the Vega brothers, played by Michael Madsen and John Travolta, during a weekend together in Amsterdam.
  • The project is unlikely to ever be made due to the actors’ aging and Tarantino’s preference for practical effects, but there may still be hope for a spin-off in another form, such as a novel or graphic novel.

Director Quentin Tarantino has long stated that he will make ten movies in his career. Because he counts the two Kill Bill installments as a single film, he currently has one picture left. That being noted, there have been several moments throughout the indie-wood director’s journey where prospective projects have come into focus but were never made. From legitimate possibilities like Tarantino’s Star Trek feature to the less-like rumor of his Lord of the Rings takeover, more than a few movies have contended for the director’s tenth film. There is one idea, however, that intrigues fans greatly, for it would have combined two of the director’s most iconic works, yet its potential to ever be made has tragically expired. Yes, we’re talking about the Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs cross-over prequel, Double V Vega.

What Was Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Pulp Fiction’ & ‘Reservoir Dogs’ Crossover Prequel?

Pulp Fiction
Image via Miramax

Among fans and cinephiles, it’s long been referenced that Michael Madsen‘s character in Reservoir Dogs and John Travolta‘s in Pulp Fiction share a last name. Vic Vega (aka Mr. Blonde) and Vincent Vega, respectively, are supposed to be brothers, tying together Tarantino’s first two features and beginning his shared cinematic universe. Given that Vic and Vincent are both violent, volatile, greased-up L.A. gangsters, their relation to one another makes sense. Ironically, in the documentary QT8, Madsen even claims that he was offered the role of Vincent as well, but turned it down because he was already committed to star in Wyatt Earp.

Over the years, many have suggested that Tarantino might make a spin-off or prequel to Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs, where Vic and Vincent would share the screen and co-star in their own movie. Although talk of the fabled film-that-never-was was long rooted in speculation, Tarantino himself has confirmed that a Vega Brothers feature was indeed on his mind in the nineties, and on a 2019 episode of the CinemaBlend podcast, he shared some of his brainstormed ideas for the movie that would have been titled Double V Vega.

Michael Madsen and John Travolta Would Have Co-Starred in ‘Double V Vega’

Reservoir Dogs
Image via Miramax

While promoting Once Upon A Time In Hollywood on CinemaBlend, Quentin Tarantino answered a few questions about his career at large. When the hosts asked the director about some of his potential tenth films, specifically about the Vega brothers spin-off, Tarantino explained that it was an idea he had after making Pulp Fiction, to bring the two brothers together for a prequel.

He goes on to say that he never quite had a story for Double V Vega, but developed a “premise.” The film would have taken place in Amsterdam, during the time that Vincent alludes to at the start of Pulp Fiction. Between putting mayonnaise on fries and ordering Royale with Cheeses at McDonalds, Vincent would be running a club for Pulp Fiction‘s big bad, Marcellus Wallace (Ving Rhames). According to Tarantino, Vincent would have been doing this for a couple of years, and that at some point during that time, Vic would visit.

The movie would have followed the two brothers over the course of their weekend together in the Dutch city. However, Tarantino clarifies that he never created details beyond that point. “Exactly what happens to them or what kind of trouble they get into,” he explains on the podcast, “I never took it that far.” In 2020, though, Michael Madsen did add to The Hollywood Reporter that the film would have opened with the two brothers getting out of prison in different states before meeting up in the Netherlands.

Why Haven’t We Gotten Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Double V Vega’?

Image via Miramax

These limited details are borderline maddening, as they leave so much open to the audience’s imagination. Unfortunately, the odds of Double V Vega ever entering production are now slim to none. Because both Vic and Vincent died in their respective films, Double V Vega was always envisioned as a prequel. Thus, both Madsen and Travolta would have to look the same age (if not younger than) they did in their original films to reprise the roles.

Now, roughly thirty years have passed since Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction first released, and the actors have aged accordingly. Although de-aging has become a more common visual effect in films, Tarantino laughed the idea off when the CinemaBlend hosts suggested it. Even though famed directors from Martin Scorsese to Ang Lee have dabbled in de-aging their stars over the past few years, Tarantino is all but married to practical effects and old-school Hollywood filmmaking. It’s unlikely he’d be interested in digitizing Madsen and Travolta’s faces to make them look like they did in the nineties, even if it could give Double V Vega new potential. As he says on the podcast, the project had a “shelf life.”

RELATED: The Many Franchises That Quentin Tarantino Has Circled

Is There Still Hope for ‘Double V Vega’?

Steve Buscemi, Quentin Tarantino, Michael Madsen, Edward Bunker, and Lawrence Tierney in Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Live Entertainment, Dog Eat Dog Productions Inc.

Strangely, Madsen did note that Tarantino once pitched him a version of the film where the Vega brothers would meet each other’s identical twins. He told The Hollywood Reporter that Tarantino “had come up with this idea that it would be the twin brothers of Vic and Vincent, who met after the deaths of their siblings… It was very complicated, but when Quentin starts discussing an idea, it’s very easy to go along with it.” Perhaps this was a joke, or perhaps it’s a reason for fans to hold on to hope for Double V Vega.

Moreover, even if Double V Vega never becomes a film, Tarantino has dabbled in multimedia spin-offs of his work before. Maybe the story could be shared as a novel, as Tarantino penned the novelization of Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (with additional world and character details) two years after the film’s release. Alternatively, Double V Vega could go the way of Django Unchained and get a graphic novel treatment. Furthermore, Tarantino expressed interest in adapting his work for the stage when he appeared on The Joe Rogan Experience in 2021, and he even suggested the possibility of remakes. Evidently, there still be ways to get the full story of Double V Vega in one form or another.

As of right now, details about Tarantino’s tenth and final film remain mysterious. According to reports earlier this year, he has written a screenplay titled The Movie Critic, which could go into production this fall. However, details regarding the project are nebulous for the time being. One thing that seems certain is that Double V Vega won’t be making the director’s finite filmography— So unless he shares the story through some other means, we’ll just have to keep on imagining what kind of fun, witty, splatter-filled ride Vic and Vincent could have taken us on all those years ago.

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