The list of underrated Quentin Tarantino movies starts and ends with "Jackie Brown." Released in 1997, "Brown" was Tarantino's follow-up to the industry changing work he did in "Pulp Fiction," and a decidedly different affair. Contemplative and slow instead of brusque and face-paced, "Jackie Brown" included many Tarantino hallmarks -- sharp dialogue, cool soundtrack choices, Samuel L. Jackson -- but perhaps surprised some because of its maturity. After all, the film focuses on an aging flight attendent (Pam Grier) and the aging bail bondsman (Robert Forster) who she falls in love with. There's also a gangster and his hoodrat friend (Samuel L. Jackson and Robert De Niro) involved in the story, and though both meet an untimely end in "Jackie Brown" (movie's been out for almost 15 years, get over the spoilers), it appears they'll be back in the near future.
Variety reports that Mos Def and John Hawkes will take on the roles of Ordell Robbie (Jackson) and Louis Gara (De Niro), respectively, in "Switch," a prequel of sorts to "Jackie Brown." The film, from writer-director Dan Schechter, will be based on Elmore Leonard's novel "The Switch," a prequel to his earlier novel "Rum Punch," which was the basis for Tarantino's "Jackie Brown" script. "Switch" will take place 15 years before the events in the Tarantino film.
The casting of Hawkes -- famous for his creeptastic indie roles in "Winter's Bone" and "Martha Marcy May Marlene" -- as a younger De Niro seems particular inspired, if only because the acclaimed actor often exhibits similar facial hair to the kind De Niro wears in "Jackie Brown." If only Tarantino was onboard to direct, you could get really excited about this one. As Ordell says in "Brown," accept no substitutes.
Filming is scheduled to start in May, meaning "Switch" could be in theaters as soon as 2013. While you wait with baited breath for that, watch the original trailer for "Jackie Brown" below, which is just about the best trailer ever. (Either that, or cue up "Across 110th Street" for the umpteenth time.)