THR's Director Roundtable: Quentin Tarantino on Fearing He'll 'F-Up' His Own Scripts (Video)

"When I’m writing, it’s about the page. It’s not about the movie," the "Django Unchained" director said.

For Quentin Tarantino, the script really does come first.

“When I’m writing, it’s about the page. It’s not about the movie,” the writer-director said during The Hollywood Reporter’s Director Roundtable. “It’s about the literature of me putting my pen to paper and writing a good page, and making it work completely."

Tarantino (Django Unchained) said if he does his job right, the script should speak for itself as work of literature, even if he chose not to make it into a film.

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“Now it’s mine to f-up if I go forward with it,” he said. “I always go forward with it. But I want to love that script so much that I’m tempted to stop.”

Writing Django Unchained, which hits theaters Christmas Day, was no different.

“There’s stuff that’s in the script that I know will never ever make the movie, but it just makes the book — the piece of literature — better,” Tarantino said. “It’s a better read. It’s more emotionally satisfying. Then just like you do with an adaptation, you peel a lot of that stuff away.”

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Tarantino joined awards season contenders Ben Affleck (Argo), Ang Lee (Life of Pi), Tom Hooper (Les Miserables), David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook) and Gus Van Sant (Promised Land) for a roundtable discussion moderated by THR news editor Matthew Belloni and executive editor features Stephen Galloway.

Watch the video above.