Update – November 13th: In a new statement, Playboy Germany editor-in-chief Florian Boitin admits to misquoting Ennio Morricone. “Up to now, we have considered the freelancer who conducted the Ennio Morricone interview on our behalf to be a renowned print and radio journalist. In the past, we have had no reason to doubt his journalistic integrity and skills,” Boitin said in the statement, referring to writer Marcel Anders. “Based on the information now at our disposal, we must unfortunately assume that the words spoken in the interview have, in part, been reproduced incorrectly. We would like to express our regret should Mr. Morricone have been portrayed in a false light. We are working to clarify this matter and are exploring legal measures.”
— Original Story —
Back in 2015, legendary Italian composer Ennio Morricone scored Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight. The project marked Morricone’s first time scoring a Western film in 40 years and it earned him his first-ever Academy Award. Despite this, Morricone doesn’t have particularly pleasant memories of his time working with Tarantino, nor did he enjoy attending the Oscars.
In a newly published interview with Playboy Germany (via Variety), Morricone criticized Tarantino for his “absolutely chaotic” working style. “He talks without thinking, he does everything at the last minute. He has no idea,” Morricone griped. “He calls up out of the blue and wants a complete score in just a few days. That’s not possible. It makes me so mad.” (Prior to The Hateful Eight, Tarantino asked Morricone to score Inglourious Basterds, but the composer declined, citing the film’s short production schedule.)
From there, Morricone lambasted Tarantino as “a cretin” who “only steals from others and puts stuff back together again.”
“There’s nothing original about that. That doesn’t make him a director,” Morricone noted. “He is nothing compared with the Hollywood greats, such as John Huston, Alfred Hitchcock or Billy Wilder. They had class. Tarantino simply recooks old dishes.” Morricone is also quoted as calling Tarantino’s movies “trash.”
Regarding the Oscars, Morricone said he “was in pain from sitting down for so long, on the plane and at the ceremony. If I looked happy it was because I knew I would soon be getting away from that boring ceremony.”
Morricone added that he has no desire to return to the U.S. with “its self-inflated pomposities and embarrassments like the Oscars.”
Tarantino has yet to announce the composer for his next film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, but we can probably count out a reunion with Morricone.
Update – November 11th: In a statement, Morricone denied making such comments to Playboy Germany. “This is totally false. I have not given an interview to Playboy Germany and even more, I have never called Tarantino a cretin and certainly do not consider his films garbage. I have given a mandate to my lawyer in Italy to take civil and penal action.”
Read Morricone’s full statement below.
It has come to my attention that Playboy Germany has come out with an article in which I have stated extremely negative comments about Tarantino and his films, and the Academy. I have never expressed any negative statements about the Academy, Quentin, or his films—and certainly do not consider his films garbage. I have given a mandate to my lawyer in Italy to take civil and penal action.
I consider Tarantino a great director. I am very fond of my collaboration with him and the relationship we have developed during the time we have spent together. He is courageous and has an enormous personality. I credit our collaboration responsible for getting me an Oscar, which is for sure one of the greatest acknowledgments of my career, and I am forever grateful for the opportunity to compose music for his film.
In London, during a press conference in front of Tarantino, I clearly stated that I consider Quentin one of the greatest directors of this time, and I would never speak poorly of the Academy—an important institution that has given to me two of the most important acknowledgments of my career.
Update – November 12th: In a new statement, Playboy says it stands by its interview and the quotes attributed to Morricone. “We are surprised that composer Ennio Morricone denies giving an interview to German Playboy. In fact, the conversation took place on June 30th, 2018, at his estate in Rome. The interview, about the concert organizer Semmel Concerts, which was also present at the interview, had been agreed to with German Playboy. We also cannot understand that parts of the published statements were apparently not found to have been accurate.”