NATURAL BORN KILLERS
The Original Screenplay
Written by Quentin Tarantino

1995 **** 119 pages

The legend goes thus: Natural Born Killers was actually the second feature-length screenplay Quentin Tarantino wrote, the first being True Romance. His first screenplay to be made into a film was Reservoir Dogs, his third-written screenplay. He sold True Romance, which got made by Tony Scott, with great success. He sold Natural Born Killers, which got made by Oliver Stone, to great success, but not without regret. Oliver Stone changed Tarantino's original screenplay so much, that Tarantino had his name removed from screenplay credit on the final film. Going back and reading Tarantino's original screenplay is quite strange. I'd seen the film a few times, and the original screenplay is much, much, much more toned down. It kind of takes the Reservoir Dogs approach, in that we never really see Mickey and Mallory do much of anything, most of their exploits are shown only through stock footage and witness accounts. It's much simpler, and in effect, much deeper than Oliver Stone's film. Would Natural Born Killers be as important of a film if it had been made strictly by Tarantino's words? We'll never know, but it sure is a lot of fun to speculate.


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