Pulp Fiction has long since passed into the annals of movie history, confirming its director Quentin Tarantino as one of the modern greats of cinema and becoming arguably the biggest cult film of the 1990s. But, according to leaked documents, it could have looked very different indeed, as it turns out that many of its stars may not have been Tarantino’s first choices for their respective roles.

His wishlist – which has not yet been officially confirmed as genuine by Tarantino’s reps – was leaked via Reddit on Tuesday (September 15th) and makes for extremely interesting reading. Consisting of two sheets of hand-typed paper, the biggest revelation is that John Travolta, who received an Oscar nomination for his role as gangster Vincent Vega, was not Tarantino’s first choice. Rather, he originally wanted Michael Madsen – who of course did star in his first movie Reservoir Dogs just two years before – to play the part.

Quentin TarantinoQuentin Tarantino's 'Pulp Fiction' might have looked very different, according to leaked documents

The part of Travolta’s side-kick, the wise-ass Jules Winnfield, was at one point going to be offered to Eddie Murphy. Uma Thurman, who put in a memorable performance as the gangster’s wife Mia Wallace, was apparently not even in contention for the part at first, with Virginia Madsen, Marisa Tomei, Patricia Arquette and Phoebe Cates all considered ahead of her.

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Most surprising of all is the list of actors Tarantino wanted to play the part of Butch, which was eventually taken by Bruce Willis, and which rehabilitated his career after a fallow period at the box office. Matt Dillon, Sean Penn, Nicolas Cage and Johnny Depp were all ahead of him in the director’s mind.

Some of the other intruiging alternative castings are: Danny DeVito for Winston Wolf (taken by Harvey Keitel); John Cusack to play drug dealer Lance (taken by Eric Stoltz); and Sean Penn, Robert De Niro and Al Pacino for Captain Koons (taken by Christopher Walken).

In fact, Tim Roth – who plays the restaurant robber ‘Pumpkin’ before the movie’s opening credits – appears to be one of the very few actors who were Tarantino’s first choice for their respective roles. Jennifer Jason Leigh – who is starring in the director’s forthcoming The Hateful Eight – was considered for two roles: Lance’s drug dealer wife Jody and ‘Honey Bunny’, which ended up going to Rosanna Arquette and Amanda Plummer respectively.

Pulp Fiction is still Tarantino’s biggest box office smash, if figures are adjusted for inflation, fetching $213.9 million around the world on a budget of roughly $8 million. It won the 1994 Palme d’Or in addition to receiving seven Oscar nominations including Best Picture the following year. Tarantino and Roger Avary won the trophy for Best Original Screenplay.

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