Brad Pitt has closed his deal to star in “Inglorious Bastards,” the WWII drama that Quentin Tarantino will direct for the Weinstein Co. and Universal.
Additionally, Nastassja Kinski is in early talks to play one of the sole female roles in the film. Casting the German-born actress jibes with Tarantino’s habit of resuscitating dormant careers. Kinski, who has stayed away from mainstream American films for nearly a decade, would play a German movie queen.
Much of the pic’s dialogue is in French or German, and subtitles will be used, though Pitt will speak English in his role as a Tennessee hillbilly who assembles a team of eight Jewish-American soldiers to take on the Nazis.
Simon Pegg, David Krumholtz and B.J. Novak are also in talks to join the project. Pegg would play a British lieutenant, while Krumholtz and Novak would play Pitt’s underlings.
Pic begins production Oct. 13 in Germany. Tarantino, who wrote the script, is aiming to complete the film and have it ready for next year’s Cannes Film Festival. Lawrence Bender is producing, with Erica Steinberg and Harvey and Bob Weinstein as executive producers. Pilar Savone is associate producer.
Deal puts Pitt back in business with Universal; apparently he and the studio have patched things up following his last-minute exit from “State of Play” late last year.
Under the terms of Tarantino’s deal, he receives 20% of first-dollar grosses. That percentage can be reduced if a first-dollar gross star like Pitt joins the cast, though it’s unclear if Tarantino is ceding any of his points to the star.
Bender said casting should be complete in about a week or two. Eli Roth will play Sgt. Donnie Donowitz, and Tarantino is locking in the other actors to play the soldiers who make up the Bastards team. Tarantino regular Tim Roth had been in contention to join the cast but couldn’t work out the scheduling because of his upcoming TV series “Lie to Me.”
While Pitt will be working for the first time with Tarantino as director, he does have on his resume a small but memorable turn as a stoner in the Tony Scott-directed “True Romance,” a script that Tarantino wrote between “Reservoir Dogs” and “Pulp Fiction.”