Other to a little film called Star Wars, no film this month has the same level of anticipation attached to it as The Hateful Eight. The eighth film from Oscar-winning director Quentin Tarantino, Hateful is an homage to classic cinema, but more than anything it just looks insanely cool.
With a limited run starting on Christmas (because nothing say holidays like gore and obscenity), Hateful Eight has the potential to surprise a lot of people as it expands out across the country.
Here’s our list of the 10 Things You Know To Know About The Hateful Eight.
Part of the beauty of the film is that its plot is very simple, but its cast of characters is very complex. The bulk of the movie takes place at cabin where eight VERY different people have found themselves trapped together during a massive blizzard.
The plot centers on Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh), a fugitive being brought to justice by bounty hunter John “The Hangman” Ruth (Kurt Russell). On the way to collect his reward, Ruth and Domergue encounter another bounty hunter, Maquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson) and the supposed new sheriff in town, Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins).
The foursome go as far as they can during a winter storm, but decide to take refuge at Minnie’s Haberdashery where they run into another group of four (Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Demian Bichir and Bruce Dern) who have also been sidetracked.
As the group settles in it becomes clear everyone has an agenda, and that trusting the wrong person could deadly. The film’s tagline says it best: “No One Comes Up Here Without A Damn Good Reason.”
The legend of The Hateful Eight may be just as well known as the film itself, as a scandal hit the project early on.
Tarantino gave a copy of the script to small number of people in his inner circle, but somehow one of those scripts got leaked. Gawker notoriously posted the full version and in response, an upset and betrayed Tarantino decided not to continue the project and filed a lawsuit against the company. However, following a charity reading of the script, Tarantino had a change of heart and re-ignited plans to film the movie.
To this day, Tarantino doesn’t really know who leaked the script and it sounds like he has no further interest in pursuing the matter. The prevailing theory is that one of the actors gave a copy of the script their agent, who in turn was responsible for the leak. Granted, that hasn’t been proven and the leaked version and the final version are reportedly very different.
Tarantino is legendary for being a student of the game, and when he gets a chance to honor the styles that came before him, he does. Here he is paying tribute to classic 70mm films by shooting on Ultra Panavision as was the case with classics like Ben-Hur and It’s A Mad Mad Mad World.
It will be the first time since 1992’s Far & Away that a film has been released in 70mm on such a large scale. 70mm movies require special equipment and, because it utilizes mostly outdated technology, it doesn’t always work. In fact, many of the early press screenings were delayed because projectionists had trouble getting the machines to work.
Hopefully those glitches will be worked out when the film hits 100 specific theaters across 44 cities in the US and Canada in the format.
The cast shot the movie in Telluride, Colorado which is best known for its annual film festival. The state actually invested $5 million in the project to secure the production and could see a nice return if the film does well.
Ironically, despite being filmed a state known for cold weather, producers had to fly in snow to the area for the shoot which started in December of last year. The cast also shot on a set that was purposely kept around 30 degrees to keep up the authenticity.
While this may seem costly, the whole film was actually shot for $44 million, which is relatively low compared to Tarantino's last couple movies. This is likely due to the fact that much of it takes place in a single location.
Morricone is known for his scores of Sergio Leone Westerns like The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Once Upon a Time in the West. It wouldn’t have been right for Tarantino to do another Western-style film and NOT enlist Morricone.
However, this almost didn’t happen as the friends had a falling out over comments made by Morricone about Tarantino’s last film Django Unchained. But they apparently made up and agreed to work together again.
Interestingly enough, the music for Hateful isn’t wholly original. In fact, due to time constraints, Morricone couldn’t do a full score, so he incorporated some of his unreleased work from The Thing. Either way, we don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
The Hateful Eight includes a number of Tarantino regulars (Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Madsen, etc.). However, the final cast went through a couple of iterations before being locked in place.
For example, Daisy Domergue, the film’s lone female main character, was originally reported to be written for a younger actress. While Amber Tamblyn read the part during Tarantino’s Los Angeles County Museum of Art charity read-through and Jennifer Lawrence was the name most heavily tied to the role, neither actress panned out. Ultimately, Tarantino decided to alter the character, making it more appropriate for an older actress.
Other names in the mix were rumored to include frequent Tarantino collaborator Christoph Waltz and the equally imposing Viggo Mortensen. Scheduling problems are believed to be the reasons for neither being able to sign on, but imagine how even more insane this cast would have looked with those names in the mix.
Tarantino’s previous film, Django Unchained, introduced the director to shooting a Western, and he immediately fell in love with the genre. After completing the film, Tarantino knew he wasn’t ready to let the wild west go, so he started working out ways to continue in the Django universe.
He began working on a sequel, but as he kept writing he began to realize the story was actually being held back by the presence of Django. Tarantino then scrapped his initial idea and put Samuel L. Jackson’s character in place of Jamie Foxx’s Django.
This allowed for all the characters in the film to be a mystery to the audience, and it freed up Tarantino to not to be tied to Django as a moral compass. After all, in a movie with "Hateful" in the title, there is little room for any character with strong morals.
However, the film is still set in the Django universe and is the closest thing to a sequel audiences will get for now.
As mentioned above, Tarantino really fell hard for the Western genre, but believes you have to do at least three of them to really be considered a western director like John Ford or Howard Hawks. Django Unchained was the first and The Hateful Eight will be his second, but Tarantino has said numerous times that he’d like to stay in this style for one more film.
Tarantino has often teased he’d like that last film to be a adaption of literary legend Elmore Leonard’s Forty Lashes Less One, but that story about a reluctant reliance between a African-American and Native American in a Yuma prison could actually ended up as TV movie or mini-series.
Yet audiences shouldn’t start holding their breath as Tarantino gets so in depth with his films that they usually take a while to prepare and shoot. In keeping with the director’s current pace, the earliest we should expect to see his next film is 2018.
You have to admit that Quentin Tarantino is a “once-in-a-generation” type director. He has a truly unique style that really appeals to a certain group of moviegoers. Yet his time as a film director could be coming to a close as, during press interviews for Hateful Eight, he’s made a few comments about calling it a day.
“Well I'm probably only going to make 10 movies, so I'm already planning on what I'm going to do after that. That's why I'm counting them. I have two more left. I want to stop at a certain point."
So what will Tarantino do after? The good news is that it doesn’t seem like he’ll stop writing, but rather expand his canvas. He’s frequently talked about a desire to write books and plays, as well as direct theater, which could be just as interesting to experience.
Quentin Tarantino’s movies seem to get longer with each one, but he’s hitting new territory with The Hateful Eight. The 70mm cut will be six minutes longer than the alternative version and come complete with a overture and intermission.
In total, the runtime is 3 hours and 2 minutes, which is 17 minutes longer than Django Unchained and 30 minutes more than Inglourious Basterds. For comparison, Tarantino's first film, Reservoir Dogs, is only 1 hour and 39 minutes.
Name-wise The Hateful Eight is also the longest title in the filmography of the Oscar winner. Every other film has been two words.
Are you as excited as us to for this movie? Which Tarantino film is your favorite? Hit the comments and let us know.