Quentin Tarantino attended San Diego Comic-Con in 2012 to promote his western Django Unchained, so it came as little surprise when the news got out that he would be back at SDCC in 2015 to promote his next western, The Hateful Eight. The film's panel was held in Hall H of the San Diego Convention Center, where Tarantino and most of the film's cast discussed the project. And, of course, some Hateful Eight footage was shown to those in the audience, too.
Hateful Eight takes place a few years after the end of the Civil War, at a mountainside lodgings (called Minnie's Haberdashery) in the Wyoming territory. A group of eight people, played by frequent Tarantino collaborators like Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson, and Michael Madsen (along with first-timers Jennifer Jason Leigh and Demian Bichir), wind up trapped at Minnie's by a blizzard - only to realize that there is a foul plot afoot, and they're all in danger of not leaving said lodgings alive.
The Hateful Eight SDCC 2015 panel started with a "history lesson" video narrated by Jackson, explaining the logic behind Hateful Eight's 70 mm roadshow release, which will be complete with an intermission. Said clip emphasizes that Tarantino's new film was shot in Ultra Panavision 70: a format that dates back to the 1950s, and is used for creating 'massive gorgeous images'. Moreover, Tarantino apparently shot Hateful Eight using (literally) the same lens that were used for Ben-Hur (1959) and It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963).
A seven-minute sizzle reel was shown for Django Unchained at SDCC in 2012, and for Hateful Eight Tarantino and editor Fred Raskin again put together a seven-minute preview for the Comic-Con crowd. The Hateful Eight sizzle reel, like the Django one, wasn't necessarily all that revealing in term of plot information - though, it confirmed the movie will feature Tarantino's trademarks, including lots of sharp dialogue, some nasty language (the N-word was dropped), and dark humor meshed with over the top violence. (Case in point: the sizzle reel opened with Jackson's character sitting atop a pile of bodies and luggage.)
On that note, enjoy the new Hateful Eight poster (released to coincide with the SDCC 2015 festivities):
Tarantino indicated that, if things go his way, Hateful Eight will not be his final western either - having said at the film's SDCC panel that "You have to make at least three westerns to call yourself a western director" and that he wants to make another one. The filmmaker also clarified that he doesn't have a firm retirement plan in place yet (despite what some may believe), saying that the uptick in quality of television in recent years means he'd be game to work on the small screen, if it struck his fancy to do so.
However, easily the most intriguing piece of information Tarantino offered the Hall H crowd was easily the news that legendary composer Ennio Morricone (The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, Once Upon a Time in the West, The Untouchables) will provide the score for Hateful Eight - his first western score in forty years. As such, whereas previous Tarantino films have included excerpts of Morricone scores from other movies, Hateful Eight will be featuring original material developed by the lauded composer.
In short: between the great cast (which also includes Bruce Dern, Walton Goggins, Tim Roth, and Channing Tatum) and Tarantino going ever further with his cinematic throwback storytelling style that he has on previous films, it sounds as though Hateful Eight is definitely something that his fans should be looking forward to.
The Hateful Eight opens in 70 mm theaters on December 25th, 2015. It begins its regular theatrical release on January 8th, 2016.