Director Tara Wood has reclaimed rights to the authorized Quentin Tarantino documentary movie, “21 Years: Quentin Tarantino,” following a long legal battle.
She’s hopeful that she can find a buyer to distribute the movie in conjunction with Sony’s release of Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” the Brad Pitt-Leonardo DiCaprio drama that’s opening on July 26.
Wood’s battle began three years ago when she sold worldwide rights to the Weinstein Company in a deal announced at the Cannes Film Festival with Harvey Weinstein’s enthusiastic endorsement.
Harvey and Bob Weinstein began working with Tarantino three decades ago on “Reservoir Dogs” and had partnered with the director on all of his projects — until the company shut down last year in the wake of an onslaught of sexual harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein.
Wood said production meetings with TWC on the project stopped in October 2016, and the company was uncommunicative after that. When the sexual harassment scandal broke, Wood asked TWC to give her back the distribution rights “to allow the project to be handled with the care and consideration it, Mr. Tarantino, and all the participants deserve.”
The company refused, and TWC filed for bankruptcy in March 2018. The bankruptcy court dealt with hundreds of titles, but did not respond to Wood’s attempts to reclaim the rights. In July, Lantern Entertainment bought the TWC assets, and pulled the documentary out of the TWC sale in September. The bankruptcy court granted Wood the rights back in November.
“We are thrilled, and eager to conduct our final interviews and complete the documentary, free from Harvey Weinstein and his complicit cohorts,” Wood said in a statement. “We look forward to finding a new distribution partner, timed with the July 2019 release of Quentin’s next film, ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.'”
The movie examines the first 21 years of Tarantino’s career and includes interviews with frequent collaborators, including Samuel L. Jackson, John Travolta, Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jamie Foxx, Eli Roth, Diane Kruger, and Kerry Washington. Wood also directed the documentary “21 Years: Richard Linklater.” Both films draw upon the idea that the first 21 years of work define an artist’s career.
Tarantino’s first film was 1992’s “Reservoir Dogs.” His body of work includes “Pulp Fiction,” “Jackie Brown,” the two “Kill Bill” movies, “Inglourious Basterds,” “Django Unchained,” and “The Hateful Eight.” “Django Unchained” was the highest grosser, making $425 million worldwide. Tarantino won Oscars for the “Pulp Fiction” and “Django Unchained” screenplays, and was nominated for directing “Pulp Fiction,” and writing and directing “Inglourious Basterds.”
“This project has always been in honor of Mr. Tarantino’s career, and as a woman, creator, and protector of that vision, I am grateful to have it back in caring, respectful hands,” Wood said.