Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction Casting Wish List
Since its release in 1994, Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction has become essential movie viewing. And while it's regularly cited as the film that resurrected John Travolta's then-sagging career, a document leaked on Reddit reveals that the part of Vincent Vega—which earned Travolta his first Oscar nomination in 17 years—was actually written for Michael Madsen.
Though the legitimacy of what is being referred to as Tarantino's "casting wish list" has not been confirmed, the list of potential actors—many of whom have worked with the Oscar-winning filmmaker—does seem genuinely Tarantino-esque. (Who else would write lead roles for Madsen, Tim Roth, and Amanda Plummer?)
According to the typed document, Travolta was Tarantino's second choice for the role of Vincent; Alec Baldwin, Michael Keaton, and Gary Oldman were also among QT's most wanted for the part. He also included Oldman as a possibility for the roles of Pumpkin (which was written for, and played by, Tim Roth) or Vega's drug dealer, Lance (Eric Stoltz's role).
Another surprise: John Cusack was Tarantino’s first choice to play Lance; he had actually written the part for the Say Anything star.
As for Vincent's partner, Jules Winnfield, that part was written for Laurence Fishburne, with Samuel L. Jackson and Eddie Murphy as Tarantino's second choices. He also specifically noted "no rappers."
The wish list also revealed that Uma Thurman was not even in the original running to play Mia Wallace; Virginia Madsen, Alfre Woodard, Jennifer Beals, Pam Grier, Bridget Fonda, and Angela Bassett were all named as "strong possibilities." In addition, Bruce Willis wasn't on the original list of actors to play Butch; the role was written for Matt Dillon, with Sean Penn, Nicolas Cage, Aidan Quinn, and Johnny Depp as suitable replacements.
If only Tarantino had had the clout to get his way back in the day, the history of pop culture would look a lot different.