Italian composer Ennio Morricone — known for his work on The Good, The Bad And The Ugly and Days Of Heaven, among others — and Quentin Tarantino collaborated on Tarantino’s 2015 film The Hateful Eight, for which Morricone won a Golden Globe. Well, that might be their final joint project. Morricone, who turned 90 yesterday, slammed the filmmaker during his interview with Playboy Germany, calling him a “cretin” who makes “trash” movies.
“The man is a cretin,” Morricone said in Italian. “He just steals from others and puts it together again. There is nothing original about that. And he is not a director either. So not comparable to real Hollywood greats like John Huston, Alfred Hitchcock or Billy Wilder. They were great. Tarantino is just cooking up old stuff.”
He continued to call out Tarantino’s work ethic: “He calls out of nowhere and then wants to have a finished film score within days, which is impossible. Which makes me crazy! Because that’s just not possible. And I do not go there anymore. I told him that last time. But next time I will be tough. Then he can kiss me.”
Update (1:45pm): Ennio Morricone has denied that he ever said the above remarks. In a new statement shared with Indiewire, Morricone not only says that he never made remarks against Tarantino, but also that he never gave an interview to Playboy Germany at all, threatening to take legal action against the magazine.
“This is totally false. I have not given an interview to Playboy Germany and even more, I have never called Tarantino a cretin and certainly do not consider his films garbage. “I have given a mandate to my lawyer in Italy to take civil and penal action,” Morricone said in the statement. “I consider Tarantino a great director. I am very fond of my collaboration with him and the relationship we have developed during the time we have spent together.”
An earlier version of this article appeared on Stereogum.