Lawrence Bender Honored at Deauville Film Festival

AP Images
Lawrence Bender

"If I die without having made a musical, I will not be fulfilled," said the 'Pulp Fiction' and 'Kill Bill' producer.

Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill producer Lawrence Bender thanked frequent collaborator Quentin Tarantino during his speech when he was honored with a career tribute at the Deauville Film Festival.

"If I’m going to thank one person as a producer, the most amazing moments of my life in cinema, and of course that’s Quentin Tarantino. To be able to start a career with a guy who became one of the foremost filmmakers of our generation was pure kismet,” he said.

He reflected on his career and said that his main desire is to produce a musical.

“If I die without having made a musical, I will not be fulfilled,” he said. Bender, who started his career as a ballet dancer, said it would bring together his past and current passions. “It’s the one thing that I’m not doing that really speaks to my soul.”

He’s in process of looking at scripts with commercial director Michael Gracy. “We’re looking at two movies right now that we are trying to put together. That’s my next focus, I’ve got to get a musical made,” he said. He noted that while he loves a fun film like Pitch Perfect 2, his will be a “little bit more serious.”

He also warned Hollywood against trying to replicate the surprise success of Straight Outta Compton.

“I think that’s the mistake that people make all the time. They think they know what audiences are looking for so they are trying to copy and it doesn’t work. Straight Outta Compton is a big hit and now everyone is going to try to make a musical like it,” he said.

He’s also in discussions on the best way to approach the upcoming tenth anniversary of Al Gore’s global warming documentary An Inconvenient Truth.

Bender is also busy producing television, with ballet drama Flesh and Bone set to premiere on Starz Nov. 8. He has two other deals he is ready to announce shortly and a third show that is about to be shopped with “a big A-list director.”

He’s working with partner Kevin Brown on the TV development under his AI Film. “We have a lot we’re doing in the TV world. Whatever happened in the last year, suddenly we became really hot in the TV world.”

Reflecting on his long career, he added: “If you’ve been doing this long enough you have your ups and downs, and we’re on an up.”