Quentin Tarantino is notorious for publicly speaking about movies he never winds up making. There’s a good chance we’ll never get that hard-R Star Trek movie he was talking up. Maybe the most infamous: the one about the Vega brothers — that is, Vincent (played by John Travolta in Pulp Fiction) and Vic (played by Michael Madsen in Reservoir Dogs). Both were killed in their respective films, each shot to gory death, but Tarantino spent a good while openly talking about bringing them back from the dead for a conjoined prequel.
Now, as per The Hollywood Reporter, we have some — albeit not many — details on what may have been. The day after dropping a jokey stay-at-home video recreating Dogs’ classic ear-slicing scene, Madsen spoke to the paper about the movie that never quite found life.
“We were supposed to be in Amsterdam, criminally,” Madsen revealed. “The picture was going to start out with the two of us being released from prison in different states. And we open up a club in Amsterdam.”
Indeed, in his first scene in Pulp Fiction, Vincent tells Samuel L. Jackson’s Julius all about his recent trip to Holland — not just about the copious marijuana but also, of course, the different names they have for McDonald’s products. So there could have been a tie-in!
Eventually too much time elapsed and Madsen and Travolta got far too old to play younger than they were in Dogs and Pulp, respectively. That didn’t stop Tarantino from still trying to get the two together.
“He 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,” Madsen told THR. “It was very complicated, but when Quentin starts discussing an idea, it’s very easy to go along with it.”
Eventually Travolta and Madsen were united onscreen, in last year’s Trading Paint: “We had a scene where we are at a big retirement party, and I walked up to John and he goes, ‘I thought you were dead.’ And I looked over at him and I said, ‘Well, I thought you were dead.’” And so Trading Paint, a car race movie that saw a tiny theatrical release, may be as close as we ever get to a Vega brothers movie.