Oscar-winning composer Ennio Morricone released a statement on Sunday, threatening to sue Playboy Germany for quoting him as calling filmmaker Quentin Tarantino “a cretin” and deriding his films as “trash.”
The 90-year-old Morricone, who won his first Oscar in 2016 for his score for Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight,” said he is considering a libel lawsuit against the publication, calling the interview “totally false.”
“In London, during a press conference in front of Tarantino, I clearly stated that I consider Quentin one of the greatest directors of this time,” said Morricone in a statement.
“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,” he continued. “I have given a mandate to my lawyer in Italy to take civil and penal action.”
In the Playboy Germany interview, Morricone is quoted as saying that Tarantino requested completed film scores for “The Hateful Eight” on short notice and dismissed Tarantino’s style as one that “steals from others and puts stuff back together again.”
The interview also quotes Morricone as being disdainful of his experience at the Academy Awards, calling the ceremony “boring” and saying he has no desire to return to the U.S. with “its self-inflated pomposities and embarrassments like the Oscars.”
Morricone also denied those quotes in his statement, saying he “would never speak poorly of the Academy” and calling it “an important institution.” He added that his “Hateful Eight” Oscar and the lifetime achievement award he received from the Academy in 2007 are “two of the most important acknowledgments of my career.”
Playboy and reps for Tarantino did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s requests for comment.