Kevin Smith Wants Quentin Tarantino to Direct ‘Buckaroo Banzai’ Series
Last we heard, Kevin Smith’s TV take on The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension was still shaping up for an Amazon order, but the Mallrats director is already thinking big. Not only does Smith have hopes for Quentin Tarantino to direct an episode, so too do we know what unused portions of the 1984 film will end up explored.
The same interview with Creative Screenwriting that saw Smith expounding a bit on his Mallrats TV plans also got the director opening up a bit on the potential Buckaroo Banzai adaptation. Unlike Mallrats, Smith will open a writers’ room to flesh out the story, and seek out some A-list directors behind the camera:
You also have to decide if you’re the best person to write the script. You have to ask: “Who would be best for that? Could I write a script like that?” Or is it something that you turn to someone like Zack Stentz, who wrote the Flash script that I directed last season, and wrote Thor and X-Men: First Class, and say, “Your strengths on this are far greater than mine. I could do this episode but I bet you would kill at this flashback episode.” You start figuring out who would be better at doing what.
Same thing with the directors, if we finally go to camera it ain’t going to be me directing all of them. I’m going to collect the best-of, ragtag fucking indie filmmakers you’ve ever seen. Like the cats I’ve met over two decades who love this movie.
As soon as we got budget and time, I’m totally reaching out to Quentin Tarantino. People are like, “You’re crazy, he ain’t going to do it.” But I’m like, “He might! He’s directed TV before and he loves Buckaroo Banzai!”
For those unfamiliar with the 1984 film, Buckaroo Banzai follows Banzai (Peter Weller) as his Jet Car experiment unwittingly opens a dimensional gateway to a battle between alien races the Red and Black Lectroids. In addition to Weller, the cast also featured John Lithgow, Ellen Barkin, Clancy Brown, Jeff Goldblum, Christopher Lloyd and others.
Smith also detailed a few sections of the original film to expand in a possible series:
Our version of Bucakroo Banzai begins with their aborted beginning. If you’ve ever been online and saw the tests of his parents in the home movie, it begins with Rawhide doing voice over where he goes, “By the age of five and already a curious person, Buckaroo Banzai makes a movie of his own tiny feet.”
Then, from there, the camera lifts and shows off the first run that his parents make with the jet car. As soon as I saw that, on a DVD or YouTube, I was like, “Are you kidding me? What a beautiful, poetic beginning!” So our story begins there.
Something like that informs the way you move forward with the rest. For example, Episode 1 of our series Buckaroo Banzai begins out in the desert where his parents’ test run goes awry, and then jumps to the present where he’s doing the jet car run himself like twenty years later, and then we take the movie all the way up to Artie’s artery scene. That would be Episode 1 right there.
Smith previously suggested that a first season might cover the events of the film, with a second adapting the Buckaroo Banzai Against the World Crime League promised by the first movie’s credits, but never produced. Also likely to be seen, rather than delivered in expository dialogue, is an episode dedicated to the actual arrival of the aliens to Earth.
You can watch the original Buckaroo Banzai trailer below, and stay tuned for more official announcements.