Quentin Tarantino’s filmmaking career has been marked by films that would be described as anything but conventional. Pulp Fiction, for instance, was one movie that told three stories. Meanwhile, the director made one-fourth of Four Rooms, one half of Grindhouse, and two different halves of Kill Bill.
Tarantino’s next film, The Hateful Eight, is set to arrive this December. We already knew that the Western is a rare film release that will arrive in 70mm, but now comes word that the film will be released in two separate editions.
Tarantino told Variety that The Hateful Eight, in addition to the standard 70mm multiplex release, will receive an additional “roadshow” release, which will arrive two weeks earlier, also in 70mm. Not only that, but the roadshow version will feature an overture, intermission, and six extra minutes of footage, bringing the film to a whopping “three hours, two minutes,” according to the director.
Part of Tarantino’s reasoning was to go beyond the idea of watching the film projected normally or in Ultra Panavision 70mm; he wanted to give those willing to seek out the roadshow something extra for their effort.
“The 70 is the 70… You’ve paid the money. You’ve bought your ticket. So you’re there. I’ve got you. But I actually changed the cutting slightly for a couple of the multiplex scenes because it’s not that. Now it’s on Showtime Extreme. You’re watching it on TV and you just kind of want to watch a movie on your couch. Or you’re at Hot Dog on a Stick and you just want to catch a movie.”
Apparently, the roadshow version won’t just be longer, some of the scenes in the version released to multiplexes will be slightly different, as well. As Tarantino puts it, he didn’t “want to treat the multiplex release like this left-handed version, either,” so he made alterations to certain scenes that he feels would make them play better in that environment. What that means specifically, Tarantino did not say, but the idea of a director tailoring his film for the way in which it is going to be projected (and where) is not only incredibly interesting, it is also something few filmmakers would ever have the freedom to do. The rarity of multiple cuts of the same film existing in theaters is enough to make the pending release all the more enticing — if only to sate one’s curiosity.
As a filmmaker, Tarantino has been passionate and vocal about the use of film over digital, and it seems as though his use of 70mm on The Hateful Eight is at least partially an extension of his argument regarding the superiority of celluloid. And now, he is giving viewers extra incentive to seek out and watch his latest film in the format he deems best suited for his artistic vision.
The Hateful Eight roadshow starts December 25, 2015 with a wide release of the film slated for January 8, 2016.
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