I admit, I feel a bit weird about doing this. On Wednesday we learned that Quentin Tarantino was shelving his next project, a much anticipated ensemble western titled The Hateful Eight, due to one of the six people he had shown the script to having leaked it all of Hollywood. There was swearing, calls for names and talk of betrayal. And I agreed with all of it. Now said script has hit the internet for all to see, and well, I guess we let the hypocrisy commence.
The Wrap managed to get a copy of the script, and have not only posted details of it, but actual pics of the script itself (which includes a section that Tarantino had apparently crossed out to discard). Luckily, they’ve saved themselves a little strip of high road left to travel on, by only posting basic character and plot details, and not spoiling the whole story. So if you were planning on getting the novelization of this script when Tarantino has it published, you don’t have too worry too much about it all being given away now.
The script is an ensemble Western with obvious parts for [Michael] Madsen and [Bruce] Dern, as well as Tarantino stalwarts like Samuel L. Jackson and Christoph Waltz. Jackson and Madsen would likely both play bounty hunters returning human plunder to a town called Red Rock in exchange for hefty rewards. Their characters, a former major in the Union army and a man named John Ruth, dominate the first two of the script’s five chapters.
They run into a Southerner named Chris Mannix on the road, and three of them, along with their driver — a living prisoner and three dead bounties strapped to the roof — arrive at a haberdashery to take shelter from an oncoming blizzard. Yet the proprietors, Minnie, Sweet Dave and her other colleagues, are nowhere to be found. In their place are four men, a Southern general (likely Dern), an alleged hangman, a Frenchman named Bob and a cowboy named Joe Gage.
Mistrust, coffee and violence ensue.
Yet this one is set almost entirely in two settings – a stagecoach and the haberdashery. That is a much smaller canvas than Tarantino usually works on, but the bloody, sharply written, typo-filled script is vintage Quentin. There’s a little Russian roulette, some vomit and frequent duplicity.
The five chapters are “Last Stage to Red Rock,” “Son of A Gun,” “Minnie’s,” ‘The Four Passengers” and “Black night, White Hell.” Here’s an image of the one section Tarantino crossed out, so as not to ruin anything. Oswaldo is the hangman and Domergue a prisoner.
They also specifically mention a few times that this is not the type of sprawling effort like Tarantino’s Django Unchained was, but that rather this was more “like a tense stage play than a sweeping Western film.” Also, Tarantino apparently makes several references in the script, as can be seen by the pic above, that he planned to shoot this on 70mm film, the wider that normal, higher resolution (and much more rare and expensive) format most recently also used by Paul Thomas Anderson for The Master. The ultra-wide format is a great choice for those awe-inspiring opening landscape shots that Tarantino hints at using above, although if most of this takes place inside the haberdashery and a stagecoach, I’d have to think that some of the effect would be lost. But then again, I’m not the Oscar winning director, so I’ll just trust that Tarantino had a plan.
From the bit revealed here, this does sound like vintage Tarantino, even though it’s unexpectedly leaning more towards a Resevoir Dogs than a Django Unchained. Either way, lets hope that Harvey Weinstein and co perhaps cool Tarantino down a bit, and that he decides to unshelf this, because it really sounds like a film I would love to see.
Last Updated: January 24, 2014