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Inglourious Basterds 2 Almost Happened

In 2019, Variety named Inglourious Basterds Quentin Tarantino's third best film of all time, behind only Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. When you think about the director's impressive body of work, which also includes hit movies like Django Unchained and Kill Bill Vol. 1 and 2, it speaks volumes that his World War II set tale about soldiers killing Nazis is ranked so high on the list. It's clear that the movie is beloved by fans, but it's also one of Tarantino's favorites as well, which is why Inglourious Basterds 2 very nearly happened.

Way back in 2008, a year prior to the film's 2009 release, Tarantino sat down with Enzo Castellari, the director of the 1978 film Inglorious Bastards (on which Inglourious Basterds is loosely based) for a conversation that went on to be featured as a DVD extra on a re-release of the '78 film. During that interview, the Pulp Fiction director dropped an interesting piece of information: He had so much material for his own WWII epic that he was toying with the idea of splitting it into two films, as reported by Slash Film

Ultimately, Tarantino went on to make enough cuts from his original screenplay to whittle it down to a manageable two hour and 33 minute runtime. But rumors about the lost second film still persist to this day, and that's thanks in part to the director making it clear the story still lives on in his head even though he has since moved on to other projects like the 2019 feature Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood, which reunited him with Inglourious Basterds star Brad Pitt.

Inglourious Basterds 2 was going to focus on an excised plot from the script

Just like the Kill Bill movies, Inglourious Basterds is split into chapters, with each chapter following a different strand of the plot. There are sections devoted to Pitt's Lt. Aldo Raine and his band of Nazi-scalping Jewish-American soldiers, Christoph Waltz's Hans Landa's heinous acts, and Mélanie Laurent's Shosanna and her plan to take down Landa and his men. In retrospect, the format of the film likely speaks to the sheer amount of material Tarantino had to work with.

In fact, the long-rumored sequel would actually be made up in part from a storyline that was cut from the original film to make it a movie-sized story versus a two-part tale (or even a miniseries, which is an idea Tarantino was toying with at one point). Back in 2012, the director revealed to The Root that the original script included a subplot about Black soldiers who rise up against the mistreatment they're facing at the hands of the white American soldiers. But the subplot was so meaty he became certain it could sustain its own movie or possibly even be turned into a miniseries.

"My original idea for Inglourious Basterds way back when was that this [would be] a huge story that included the [smaller] story that you saw in the film, but also followed a bunch of Black troops, and they had been f***ed over by the American military and kind of go apesh*t," he told The Root, according to IndieWire. "They basically — the way Lt. Aldo Raines and the Basterds are having an "Apache resistance" — [the] Black troops go on an Apache warpath and kill a bunch of white soldiers and white officers on a military base and are just making a warpath to Switzerland... I was going to do it as a miniseries, and that was going to be one of the big storylines."

Will Inglourious Basterds 2 ever actually happen?

At this point, it's been more than 10 years since Inglourious Basterds was released, and it would seem the time for a sequel has passed. These days, Tarantino is focused on other projects, including a book and a TV series, but he has vowed to make at least one more film — his 10th, which he has also said will likely be his last.

In a November 2019 interview with Variety, the award-winning director shared his plans for future projects. "So I finished Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, finished that script, put it aside, and then I wrote a play. And then I wrote a five-episode TV series. And right now I'm writing a book and I'm hoping that I'll be finished in three months," Tarantino said. "So the idea will be hopefully by March maybe I'll be finished with the book – and then, theoretically, maybe I'll do the play, and then theoretically I'll do the TV show, and then by that point I'll be thinking maybe what I'll do for the 10th movie."

As of the writing of this article, Tarantino still hasn't disclosed what his potentially final movie will be about, but knowing that he has all of that extra Inglourious Basterds material just sitting around remains a tantalizing prospect — at least for fans of the now classic movie. Sadly, there's no sign that he's actively working on the project he tentatively titled Killer Crow (which is the title the director shared with The Root, via IndieWire), but as Tarantino toys with the idea of moving into the realm of television, it's always possible he could return to the blood-soaked world of Inglourious Basterds eventually.