Quentin Tarantino's original plan was to shoot his western Hateful Eight in the early going of 2015 - and now, after he publicly went back and forth about whether or not he would make the movie at all (following an early script draft leak), the filmmaker is moving ahead on the project as he originally intended.
Hateful Eight already has a poster and teaser trailer that mention a 2015 release, but today the Weinstein Company announced that principal photography on the film will begin in January 2015 - as likely cast member Kurt Russell previously said might happen - in order to make a fall 2015 launch date.
In a joint statement (via THR), Bob and Harvey Weinstein said that Hateful Eight will be "as innovative, brash, and of course fun as all Quentin projects prior." The Weinsteins also confirmed that Hateful Eight (which Tarantino is going to shoot in 65 mm) will receive the widest 70 mm release for a movie in more than twenty years, followed by releases in the 35 mm and DCP formats. It's fitting enough, given the throwback nature of the film - a move that may've partly been inspired by Tarantino's friend/fellow auteur, P.T. Anderson, having photographed The Master in 65 mm a couple years back.
Tarantino's Hateful Eight takes place a few years after the end of the American Civil War, and revolves around a group of eight individuals who end up trapped in an isolated saloon during a blizzard - when they discover (as the trailer puts it) "They shared a deadly connection." Russell, as mentioned before, is lined up to play one of the film's leads, while Samuel L. Jackson is likewise expected to reprise his role from the live script reading earlier this year.
Indeed, for a while now the expectation has been that most of the cast members from the Hateful Eight script live reading - including such familiar Tarantino collaborators as Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern, and Tim Roth - will star in the actual movie. However, a recent report that Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence is in talks for a Hateful Eight role (presumably the female prisoner that is being transported by the characters that Russell and Jackson played in the script reading) raised doubt about that assumption.
Hateful Eight, for some people, may read as being too similar to Tarantino's prior work, especially since it will serve as his followup to Django Unchained (both are western genre throwbacks with similar historical backdrops, etc.). Still, the Hateful Eight script is said to have some key difference form past Tarantino joints - such as a more intimate scope and primarily single-location setting - that should help to set it apart from the director's most recent output.
Either way, a 2015 awards season release for Hateful Eight makes sense, going by the caliber of its prospective cast and director. Next year is a big one for blockbusters, yet Tarantino's new film is but one of several promising auteur projects - such as the Coen Brothers' Hail, Caesar!, Alejandro González Iñárritu's The Revenant, and Steven Spielberg's current-untitled Cold War drama/thriller - that are likewise on target to land in theaters in 2015.
We'll let you know when Hateful Eight gets an official release date.