It's not one of director Quentin Tarantino's most famous movies, but Jackie Robinson is an absolute cult classic.
Whether or not you've seen it once or 10 times, Jackie Robinson has some cool facts about it that you have always been missing!
Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda
After he finished Pulp Fiction, Tarantino was looking for his next big project. His production company bought up the rights to three Elmore Leonard books: Killshot, Freaky Deaky, and the now-famous Rum Punch.
He wasn't sure which one he wanted to work on, and nearly gave Rum Punch away. “I didn’t think I was gonna do Rum Punch. [So] I was just getting ready to give Rum Punch to another director that I knew," he admits. "And in reading it again that night, I fell in love with it the exact same way I did a couple of years before.”
Despite being an acclaimed filmmaker, Tarantino was nervous presenting the script to Leonard. Luckily, the author was interested to see the changes he had made.
“He called me right before he went into production on Jackie Brown,” said Leonard. “He said, ‘I’ve been afraid to call you for the last year.’ And I said, why? Because you changed the title and the color of the main character? He said, ‘Yeah!’ I said, well that’s alright. Do what you want, you’re the filmmaker!”
Tarantino has always wanted to work with lead actress, Pam Grier, and even tried to recruit her to Pulp Fiction. While she wasn't able to feature in that, the director made a promise that they would eventually work together.
When she finally auditioned for the role, she noticed the posters of herself on the wall behind him.
“And I said, ‘Did you put these up because I was coming over?’ And he said, ‘No. I was gonna take them down because you were coming over!'"
Do you need a reason to check the next page? Let me give you the reason!
You Best Believe
Ordell Robbie was the half-crazed lead character played by Samuel L. Jackson. His role was highly touted, but Tarantino admitted he couldn't take credit for the eccentric character.
“That was all Sam’s idea,” said Tarantino. “The whole thing with the long hair and the goatee, the whole kind of samurai, mad priest, mad kung fu priest on the mountain look he had—Sam came up with that. And it was just terrific. It just made it.”
"Yeah, I can...Yeah, it looks. I could tell..."
As it turns out, Sylvester Stallone had opted out of the role of Louis Gara. It wasn't the first time he had turned down a Tarantino film, either. He had previously said no to playing the character Stuntman Mike in Death Proof.
When the movie was finally released, Tarantino spent several weeks watching his own film in the theoatre to gauge the audiences reaction.
“I saw that movie … like 13 times at the Magic Johnson Theatre,” said Tarantino. “The whole first four weeks it was there, I just lived there.”