The Hateful Eight director Quentin Tarantino says that he personally worked on editing the movie into a four-episode miniseries for Netflix, complete with extra footage. When fans discovered that the movie had been split up into episodes for Netflix, there was immediate outcry over the streaming service supposedly butchering Tarantino's movie, but others pointed out that it was unlikely to have happened without Tarantino's approval.
Released in 2015, The Hateful Eight is about a group of eight strangers who gather together to shelter from a storm at a remote lodge. Among them are bounty hunters Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson) and John Ruth (Kurt Russell), the latter of whom is transporting a fugitive, Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) to be hanged. As tensions rise in Minnie's Haberdashery, some characters start to suspect that others may not be telling the truth about their identities.
Speaking to /Film about The Hateful Eight's transformation from a film into a miniseries, Tarantino explained that he was approached by Netflix about potentially delivering the story in a new format: three or four episodes, which would include additional footage. Tarantino said that he found the idea "intriguing" and was "game to give it a shot" - so that's what he did.
"Me and my editor, Fred Raskin, we got together and then we worked real hard. We edited the film down into 50 minute bits, and we very easily got four episodes out of it. We didn’t re-edit the whole thing from scratch, but we did a whole lot of re-editing, and it plays differently. Some sequences are more similar than others compared to the film, but it has a different feeling. It has a different feeling that I actually really like a lot. And there was [already] a literary aspect to the film anyway, so it definitely has this “chapters unfolding” quality."
As an example of one of the changes that was possible in the miniseries, though not in the feature, Tarantino said that after the movie's twist we get to see characters arriving at Minnie's Haberdashery from the perspective of the people who are already at the lodge. When asked to give a reason why fans of the original movie might want to check out the miniseries, Tarantino explained:
"If you like the movie, the movie is a movie, and I worked really hard [on it]. So even if I come out with a version that has more stuff in it, that doesn’t invalidate the first version. The first version is what we chose to be the movie. But now if you’ve seen that, and you like that, and you want more, this version gives you more…and it gives you more in a slightly different format."
The Hateful Eight was a modest box offie success upon its release, and some lucky audiences got to see the 70mm roadshow release. By bringing it to Netflix, however, the movie has an opportunity to reach people who missed it in theaters - and perhaps delivering it in 50 minute chunks will make it more digestible for the streaming crowd, as well as offering a new perspective for existing fans.