Quentin Tarantino, the once l'enfant terrible of Hollywood, is now one of its most influential directors despite having made only six movies, including "Reservoir Dogs," "Pulp Fiction" and "Kill Bill."
His newest film is the violent World War II fantasy "Inglourious Basterds," whose title Tarantino intentionally misspells with no explanation. There is a correctly spelled 1978 film "Inglorious Bastards" by Enzo Castellari, which he said has no connection to his film.
Tarantino's movie revolves around a hillbilly from the South, Lt. Aldo Raine, played by Brad Pitt, who starts a resistance movement with eight Jewish American soldiers who are dropped behind enemy lines.
Their goal is to terrorize Nazi soldiers by gruesomely killing them "Apache" style including scalping, said Tarantino in an interview with ABC News Now's "Popcorn with Peter Travers."
"Basterds" is essentially a spaghetti western with World War II iconography.
"I like spaghetti westerns because of their very brutal bleak landscape," Tarantino said. "It's not a good world to be trapped in; life is totally cheap. You die brutally and quickly, which is a good description of Europe in World War II."
He said he finds war movies and westerns very close in genre.
"Westerns and war films always exist by themselves in video store shelves -- symbiotically mixed," he said. "John Wayne did as many war films as Westerns, if not more."
In his role as Raine, Pitt has a very strong Southern drawl, which Tarantino said he thought could only work with someone of Pitt's stature.
"The hillbilly dialect could be some actor we know who throws on a twang, but you buy it coming from him," he said. "There aren't many actors of my generation who can pull it off."
Tarantino and Pitt first worked together on the 1993 release "True Romance," which was written by Tarantino with Pitt as a pot smoking supporting actor.
Since then they had been wanting to collaborate on a project. So, when Tarantino was three weeks away from finishing the "Basterds," script he called Pitt's agent.
"Now I'm dealing with the most popular dude on planet Earth," said Tarantino, who was shocked when Pitt's agent immediately said that Pitt is "ready and interested, so as soon as you're ready send it to us."
Pitt read the script, liked it and invited Tarantino to his vineyard in France, where he was living with Angelina Jolie and their children. They discussed the film over three bottles of wine.
Pitt, who according to Tarantino, is a "big World War II" buff was concerned by the ending of the movie, when "history went one way and I want another way," Tarantino said.
Pitt leads a star-studded that includes Diane Kruger as German actress/secret agent Bridget von Hammersmark, "Hostel" director Eli Roth as Donnie Donowitz aka the "Bear Jew", and Mike Myers in a cameo as a British general.
Myers came on board because he was "a big fan of mine" and a "huge World War II fan whose parents worked in the war agency," Tarantino said.
"I had the feeling when I was shooting Mike's scene that's how [director Stanley] Kubrick must have felt when he was directing Peter Sellers [in 'Dr. Strangelove']," he added.
Despite the impressive cast, the actor who has elicited most attention and who won Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival is Austrian actor Christoph Waltz, who plays the charismatic Nazi Colonel Hans Landa.