Did you originally write GO as an out-of-sequence story, or was that something you and Doug Liman changed after the script was written?
Although there’s hardly a trace of it left in the script, the deep underlying story of GO originated from Alice in Wonderland. Even before I came to L.A., I’d been pondering ways to stage a modern Alice centered around a rave, with a white Volkwagen Rabbit to get us into the action. (The White Rabbit would ultimately become the Mazda Miata that Adam and Zack drive, and the Cheshire Cat is still there, though now he speaks telepathically to Mannie.)
Fortunately, I never wrote that script, because it would have been horrible – clever for the sake of being clever. But those Alice thoughts were still rumbling in my head when in 1994 an aspiring director friend asked me to write a script for him to direct as a short film. What I wrote was called "X," and detailed a supermarket checkout clerk’s attempt to pull of a tiny ecstacy deal at Christmas. My friend never got around to directing it, but other friends would read the script and ask questions: who was Simon, and why was he going to Vegas? What’s the deal with Adam and Zack? Are they cops or what?
I knew the answers, so two years later when I had the time, I wrote out the full version as a feature. The first section, "Ronna," is the short film script, almost verbatim. Rather than wedging all the new plot into the first section, and ruining its tension, I started the movie over twice, each time following a different set of characters. It became one story told in three parts.
Inevitably and frustratingly, GO gets compared to PULP FICTION. While I think they’re vastly different movies, the truth is, I don’t know if GO could have been made without the success of Quentin Tarantino and Roger Avary’s film. While there had been plenty of non-linear movies before it (RASHOMON, MYSTERY TRAIN, NIGHT ON EARTH), none had the kind of popular acceptance PULP FICTION did. By the same token, GO wouldn’t have worked told "straight."