Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Why has there never been a Pulp Fiction 2?

Illustration for article titled Why has there never been a Pulp Fiction 2?

Upon its release in 1994, Pulp Fiction was an immediate pop culture phenomenon, its various catchphrases and plot points burbling into the mainstream even among people who hadn’t seen the film. It earned over $200 million on an $8 million budget, the sort of ROI that generally leads to the immediate announcement of three sequels, a prequel TV miniseries, and a webcomic that tidies up loose ends from the interstitial video game franchise. Even Tarantino has expressed a desire to revisit those characters and that world. A new video from Looper explores all the many reasons why that hasn’t—and probably won’t, at this point—come about.

Tarantino’s original vision for a Pulp Fiction sequel was the storied Vega brothers movie, combining Michael Madsen’s character from Reservoir Dogs and John Travolta’s from Pulp Fiction for a prequel jaunt through Amsterdam. But as the actors got older, that idea made less sense, even after Tarantino rejiggered the concept to be a sequel about two other Vega brothers (still played by Madsen and Travolta) who would reunite after the original Vega brothers die. Alas, the actors were still too old.


At this point, time may be running out for Tarantino himself. The director is uniquely attuned to critical perceptions of his own filmography, and has spoken at length about wanting to conclude his career with an even 10 films. If that’s the case, he only has two more chances to revisit Pulp Fiction, and he has already teased and begun work on several other projects that will decidedly not answer the mysteries of what Jules did while wandering the earth or what Marcellus Wallace had in his briefcase. Perhaps the 10th one can be a Crisis On Infinite Earths-style free-for-all?

The video goes into many more of Tarantino’s teased sequels, none of which have seen the light of day. (Kill Bill: Vol. 2 doesn’t count, as it was split in two after filming.) Who knows, though. Given the quantities of miraculous spiritual sequels, reboots, and reunions getting Kickstarted and surprise-delivered on streaming video, they’ll probably all show up at once sometime this summer. At least we know how to make the Big Kahuna Burger.