It wasn't long after Quentin Tarantino announced that he was putting his new western screenplay, Hateful Eight, back on the shelf - in response to an early script draft being leaked - that it became clear that the multiple Oscar-winning storyteller has, in fact, started to back-peddle away from that plan. (No one ever accused Quentin of lacking passion and/or being slow to change his mind, after all.)
Sure enough, following a three hour-long live read through of the current Hateful Eight script that proved a critical success, the rumor is going around that the maker of Pulp Fiction (among other acclaimed pastiche titles released during the last two decades) will get started on production, before 2014 draws to a close. Moreover, the cast that was involved in the aforementioned live reading will, it seems, be playing the same roles in the actual Hateful Eight film, according to said new report.
The Hateful Eight script that was performed live, takes place in Wyoming a few years after the American Civil War. It spins a sordid yarn about two seasoned bounty hunters (Kurt Russell and Samuel L. Jackson) who are transporting a dangerous young woman (Amber Tamblyn) to a trial and - most likely - execution, for her (mis)deeds. However, when the travelers get held up at a mountainside lodgings due to an encroaching snowstorm, they encounter various eccentric, threatening characters - like a racist, ex-Confederate officer (Bruce Dern) - who present a danger to their mission.
Sources for Showbiz411 are claiming that Tarantino intends to shoot Hateful Eight in Wyoming in November - as opposed to the original Summer 2014 start date reported before the script leaked - after he finishes one or two more rewrites of the script. Moreover, just about everyone from the live-reading will be appearing in the movie; that includes such other previous Tarantino collaborators as Zoe Bell, Michael Madsen, and Walton Goggins, among others. However, Christoph Waltz - who won a pair of Oscars for his performance in Tarantino's last two films - is apparently not expected to play a role after all, despite speculation that he would join the cast down the line (after not being a part of the live read-through).
Tarantino once voiced an interest in completing his historical revenge fantasy trilogy, by following Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained with the WW II film, Killer Crow. Hateful Eight, with respect to Crowe, sounds like it would fall closer to being a companion piece for Django, given how they resemble one another - in terms of their shared vintage western cinema influences and/or references - but also with regard to how they offset one another, in terms of setting. (Django takes place a few years before the Civil War, whereas Hateful unfolds a few years after the war.)
By the early accounts, Hateful Eight has all the classic Tarantino ingredients - drawn-out monologuing, nods to famous movies, etc. - but also mixes up the formula a little, by largely taking place in a single setting (among other things). That's not to say it sounds as though Tarantino is breaking new ground with this project; the script appears to share more than a few plot/character elements with his most recent work - and, like his other post-Kill Bill films, Hateful Eight seems to mostly belong to a single genre, rather than multiple ones (a la his earlier work).
That said: a new character-oriented, historical western by the filmmaker, is still very much something worth getting excited about, so we'll be keeping our fingers crossed that Hateful Eight begins production this year. If it does, then a release date in the second half of 2015 seems likely, as far as the potential arrival time goes.
We'll keep you posted on development for Hateful Eight.