Director Jason Reitman has been entertaining audiences with movies that are not his own for a while now, gathering diverse and inspired groups of actors for live readings of films such as The Breakfast Club, The Princess Bride, and The Apartment that you could have seen if only you lived in Los Angeles and weren’t broke. His next one-night-only, already-sold-out performance on February 16 is his most dramatic reinterpretation yet: Reitman will take the (fittingly, very talky) script for Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs and completely overhaul the cast with all black actors, a decision that he and co-curator Elvis Mitchell says is an “attempt at really looking at a screenplay through a different lens”—specifically, a tinted one. So far Reitman’s cast includes Terrence Howard as Mr. Blonde, Anthony Mackie as Mr. Pink, Cuba Gooding Jr. as Mr. Orange, and Anthony Anderson as Nice Guy Eddie, with the rest yet to be cast (provided they can find a better black guy to play Mr. Brown than Quentin Tarantino).
While concocting his experiment, Reitman says he discovered that “what makes the Reservoir Dogs script work so well is, despite the fact that it was cast with all white actors, it really is a script that could feature any race.” Right, except maybe for Nice Guy Eddie’s crack about how Mr. Blonde “walks in the prison a white man, walks out talkin' like a fuckin' n*****” because of “all that black semen been pumped up your ass.” But sure, perhaps even that scene will take on a revealing new context once it pops up in the script, right before the room suddenly gets uncomfortable. Everything else about it sounds fun, though.