August date for Quentin Tarantino World War II movie

Wed Dec 31, 2008 6:53pm EST
 
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Controversial director Quentin Tarantino's take on World War II will hit movie theaters on August 21 2009, the studios behind the highly-anticipated film called "Inglourious Basterds" said on Wednesday.

Tarantino often takes a long time between projects. His last movie was a 2007 combined feature called "Grindhouse" made with director Robert Rodriguez, but he has not single-handedly directed a film since the 2004 "Kill Bill: Vol. 2."

The director's oddly spelled World War II epic "Inglourious Basterds" stars actor Brad Pitt, and production began in Europe in October.

Pitt plays a U.S. army lieutenant leading a group of soldiers operating behind Nazi lines, terrorizing the enemy.

"Inglourious Basterds" reportedly borrows from Spaghetti Westerns, the mostly Italian-made films of the 1960s and '70s that combine brutal violence and lyrical, fairytale-like qualities in a different take on Hollywood cowboy movies.

The film was inspired by the 1978 World War II movie "Quel maledetto treno blindato," also called "The Inglorious Bastards," from Italian director Enzo Castellari.

The August 21 release date of "Inglourious Basterds" is for the U.S. and Canada, and dates remain undetermined for its international release, said The Weinstein Company and Universal Pictures, which are jointly presenting the film.

Tarantino, who won an Oscar for his 1994 "Pulp Fiction" movie script, made the martial arts epics "Kill Bill: Vol. 1" (2003) and "Kill Bill: Vol. 2" (2004). The first film made $181 million worldwide and the sequel grossed $152 million, according to tracking firm Box Office Mojo.

Critics say Tarantino's films trivialize and stylize violence, but the director has a devoted fan base and has received numerous awards, including the Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival for "Pulp Fiction."

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Jill Serjeant)

 
<p>Quentin Tarantino gives a cinema master class at the 61st Cannes Film Festival May 22, 2008. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann</p>