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Michael Madsen Gives Details About Tarantino's Abandoned Vega Brothers Film

Madsen and John Travolta could have teamed up for a prequel to 'Reservoir Dogs' and 'Pulp Fiction.'
Michael Madsen in 1992's 'Reservoir Dogs' (left); John Travolta in 1994's 'Pulp Fiction'   |   Live Entertainment/Photofest; Miramax Films/Photofest
Madsen and John Travolta could have teamed up for a prequel to 'Reservoir Dogs' and 'Pulp Fiction.'

There had been whispers for years that Quentin Tarantino was developing a film uniting Reservoir Dogs' Vic Vega and Pulp Fiction's Vincent Vega — but the project just never took off. Well, Michael Madsen, who played Vic Vega, aka Mr. Blonde, in the 1992 classic, told The Hollywood Reporter the brothers project was further along than most realize. 

Madsen made news over the weekend when he posted a video to social media encouraging people to stay indoors during the coronavirus pandemic by re-creating with his family the famous ear-cutting scene from Reservoir Dogs. 

"I was bored out of my mind, basically," the actor tells The Hollywood Reporter. "It was my wife who said it would be funny to do a kooky type of Reservoir Dogs. It was very funny, I am surprised we pulled it off." (Madsen notes he did send the video to Tarantino, but has yet to hear back). 

In 1994's Pulp Fiction, John Travolta played Vincent Vega, a role that helped revitalize his career. The criminal brothers were shot to death in their respective films. Tarantino discussed the brothers project, which was to be a prequel, a number of times with the duo, Madsen told THR.

"We were supposed to be in Amsterdam, criminally," says Madsen of Tarantino's thoughts. "The picture was going to start out with the two of us being released from prison in different states. And we open up a club in Amsterdam." In Pulp Fiction, Vincent Vega says he just returned to Los Angeles from Amsterdam.

Ultimately, too much time passed, with Tarantino working on other pictures and the pair of actors getting too old, Madsen says. However, Tarantino did float a wild idea by him a few years ago about the project. 

"He had come up with this idea that it would be the twin brothers of Vic and Vincent, who met after the deaths of their siblings," Madsen says, chucking. "It was very complicated, but when Quentin starts discussing an idea, it's very easy to go along with it." 

Travolta and Madsen did work together last year on the race car film Trading Paint, where they had some fun with the idea of being brothers, the actor says.  

"We had a scene where we are at a big retirement party, and I walked up to John and he goes, 'I thought you were dead.' And I looked over at him and I said, 'Well, I thought you were dead,'" the actor recalls of the moment that got a big laugh on the set. 

Madsen has appeared in a number of Tarantino films, the most recent of which was 2019's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. He is also featured in the 2019 documentary QT8: The First Eight. The Tara Wood-helmed film examines the Tarantino library with a number of interviews from the writer-director's stable of stars.

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