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Zuiker Talks Tarantino Finale

By Christian
April 1, 2005 - 11:48 AM

CSI creator Anthony Zuiker recently made a special return to the original CSI: Crime Scene Investigation to co-write this year's Quentin Tarantino-directed final episode.

Zuiker wrote or co-wrote several episodes per year during CSI's first four seasons, until he moved on to his own show CSI: New York at the start of this season. But Zuiker was delighted to be able to return for this episode. "I was so inspired," he told Kate O'Hare at Zap2It. "It's funny, because there's Anthony Zuiker and then there's Quentin Tarantino, who's two levels above anything I've ever tried. To write for him, it's easily the highlight -- besides Billy Petersen saying yes to CSI -- of my career."

The final episode, which Zuiker co-wrote with CSI showrunner Carol Mendelsohn and executive producer Naren Shankar, will feel a little different from other installments of the series. "We felt a little looser in the dialogue," Zuiker said, "and a little looser in the storytelling. We felt we could really push. I remember just writing a cheap defense lawyer who's wearing cowboy boots and says, 'You'd better watch it, this man here's slicker than a snake in the curly green grass.' It just feels like something Michael Parks would say in a Quentin Tarantino movie."

Tarantino is currently preparing his one-time stint as a CSI episode director, which will take him to Las Vegas for at least a few days for location shoots. "They're looking at the Golden Nugget," Zuiker said, "and also possibly the Strip."

Even though this will be Tarantino's first professional involvement with the CSI, fans needn't worry the director is lacking in knowledge about the show. Zuiker recalled how he first met Tarantino a few years ago at a Hollywood fundraiser: "I got the courage to walk up to Quentin Tarantino and say, 'Hey, my name's Anthony Zuiker. I'm the creator of "CSI," and when I was a bellman at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas, I checked you in, and you gave me 20 bucks.' He started laughing. He's like, 'I love that show. I watch them all.' He stated rattling off dialogue, and he knew all the characters. It was a shock. I told him, 'I got into the business because I saw Pulp Fiction.' He was all flattered."

The CSI season finale is scheduled to air on the 19th of May. More from Zuiker on Tarantino's involvement with the show, as well as some of his thoughts on the new direction of CSI: New York, can all be found in the full Zap2It interview.

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