Quentin Tarantino responds to Kanye West’s claim he stole idea for ‘Django Unchained’

Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino has dismissed Kanye West’s claim that the director stole his idea for his film Django Unchained.

Earlier this month, the rapper claimed he had pitched the “Django” idea to Tarantino and Jamie Foxx as the music video for his 2005 hit ‘Gold Digger’. Django Unchained, released in 2012, followed a freed slave (played by Foxx) who works with a bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz) to rescue his wife from a plantation.

Speaking on Piers Morgan Uncensored, West said: “Tarantino can write a move about slavery where – actually him and Jamie [Foxx], they got the idea from me because the idea for Django I pitched to Jamie Foxx and Quentin Tarantino as they video for ‘Gold Digger’. And then Tarantino turned it into a him.”

Tarantino responded to West’s claim during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Thursday (October 27), saying the rapper’s version of events “didn’t happen”.

“There’s not truth to the idea that Kanye West came up with the idea of Django and then he told that to me, and I go, ‘Hey, wow, that’s a really great idea. Let me take Kanye’s idea and make Django Unchained out of it.’ That didn’t happen,” Tarantino said.

“I’d had the idea for Django for a while before I ever met Kanye. He wanted to do a giant movie version of ‘The College Dropout’ the way he did the album – so he wanted to get big directors to do different tracks from the album and then release it as this giant movie – not video, nothing as crass as videos. It was movies, movies based on each of the different tracks.

“We used it as an excuse to meet each other and so we met each other, we had a really good time. And he did have an idea for a video. I do think it was for the ‘Gold Digger’ video, that he would be a slave. And the whole thing was the slave narrative where he’s a slave and he’s singing ‘Gold Digger’. And it was very funny. It was a really, really funny idea.”

He added: “It was meant to be ironic. And it’s like a huge musical. I mean, like no expenses spared with him in this slave rag outfit, doing everything. And then that was also part of the pushback on it. But I wish he had done it. It sounded really cool. Anyway, that’s what he’s referring to.”

Tarantino is promoting his film history book, Cinema Speculation, where the director analyses classic American films from the 1970s. The book is set to be released on November 1.

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