Quentin Tarantino Addresses Kanye West’s Claim of Having Come Up With Idea for ‘Django Unchained’

Quentin Tarantino's book tour found its way to 'Jimmy Kimmel Live,' where the writer/director was tasked with addressing a recent claim from Ye.

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There is no “truth” to the idea that the artist formerly known as Kanye West came up with the idea behind Django Unchained, says writer and director Quentin Tarantino.

During an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Thursday in promotion of his new nonfiction book Cinema Speculation, out at the top of next month, Tarantino was asked about the claim Ye delivered in a recent Piers Morgan interview.

“Okay, well, there’s not truth to the idea that Kanye West came up with the idea of Django and then he told it to me and I go ‘Hey, wow. That’s a really great idea. Let me take Kanye’s idea and make Django Unchained out of it.’ That didn’t happen,” Tarantino said deep into the 20-minute discussion, more specifically around the 17:40 mark.

As Tarantino pointed out, he’d had the idea for Django (starring Jamie Foxx) “for a while” preceding his introduction to Ye. As for that introduction, however, Tarantino revealed that Ye did mention an idea for a “Gold Digger” video he was mulling at the time, although it ultimately never came to fruition.

“He wanted to do a giant movie version of College Dropout, the way he did the album,” Tarantino said. “So he wanted to get big directors to do different tracks from the album and then release it as this, like, giant movie. Not videos, oh no, there’s nothing as crass as videos. They were movies. They were gonna be movies based on each of the different tracks. So we used it as an excuse, me and Kanye, we used it as an excuse to meet each other.”

As for that idea, which Tarantino noted was intended to be “ironic,” Ye was intending to take a “no expenses spared” approach to the would-be production, a facet he highlighted as part of why it never happened.

“He did have an idea for a video, and I do think it was for the ‘Gold Digger’ video, that he would be a slave and the whole thing was this slave narrative, where he’s a slave and he’s singing ‘Gold Digger,’” Tarantino said, adding that the concept was a “really, really funny” one that he wishes would have made it beyond the idea stage.

“But I wish he had done it,” Tarantino said. “It sounded really cool. Anyway, that’s what he’s referring to.”

Tarantino’s Cinema Speculation is out Nov. 1. Ye, meanwhile, has lost a slew of partnerships in recent days in response to a series of remarks widely condemned as anti-Semitic. 

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