Quentin Tarantino resisted studio calls to cast Johnny Depp in ‘Pulp Fiction’

The director preferred Tim Roth, who was eventually cast

Quentin Tarantino has addressed a recent so-called “wish list” of actors that he wanted for roles in Pulp Fiction, and revealed he pushed back against studio wishes to cast Johnny Depp.

The list of names recently went viral on social media, which included Depp as second for the role of Pumpkin behind the eventually-cast Tim Roth.

Speaking on the 2 Bears, 1 Cave podcast, Tarantino said: “On the internet there’s a thing floating around about my wish list of the cast of Pulp Fiction, it’s kind of floating around and it’s not. It’s not that, not really.


“I didn’t know exactly who I wanted to play this part or that part, so I wrote a giant list with a ton of names. I wanted to get them all pre-approved sure and I didn’t know if it’s gonna work out, if I would like vibe with the person or if they would even do a good job but I wanted to get them approved.

Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images for ZFF)

“It’s kind of all over the place but that was kind of the idea, I wanted to be able to explore it and go all over the place but then I’m also really very opinionated.”

The director went on to reveal that when he put forward his names, the studio questioned why he wanted Roth over Depp for the role, and would not offer Roth the role until others had turned it down.

In response, Tarantino asked them: “‘Do you think Johnny Depp playing the role of Pumpkin in this movie, which is the opening scene and the closing scene that’s it, do you think that will add that much to the box office?’”

Pulp Fiction
In ‘Pulp Fiction’, Tarantino’s follow-up to ‘Reservoir Dogs’. Credit: Alamy


Elsewhere, the director’s Pulp Fiction star Samuel L. Jackson has responded to comments Tarantino made suggesting that there were “no real movie stars”, and that superheroes were more famous than the actors that portray them on screen.

“It takes an actor to be those particular characters, and the sign of movie stardom has always been, what, asses in seats? What are we talking about?” Marvel star Jackson said. “That’s not a big controversy for me to know that apparently these actors are movie stars.

Chadwick Boseman is Black Panther. You can’t refute that, and he’s a movie star.”

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