Director feels ‘very, very depressed’.
Quentin Tarantino shelved his latest project, a Western by the name of The Hateful Eight, early this week after he distributed the first draft to a small circle of actors. The film would have followed the enormous critical and commercial success of his Django Unchained, which grossed $162.8 million domestically and earned the writer-director his second Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Initial photography for the film was planned to begin in just under a year’s time.
“I’m very, very depressed,” Tarantino told Deadline last week. “I gave [the script] to six people,” he continued, claiming that of those six, the only person he knows did not cause the leak was his longtime collaborator Tim Roth. The other five names include two actors he’d been considering casting in the film, Michael Madsen and Bruce Dern, as well one of the producers who worked on Django Unchained, Reggie Hudlin. Tarantino said that “one of the others let their agent read [the script], and that agent has now passed it on to everyone in Hollywood. […] I’m not making this next.” Instead, Tarantino will take The Hateful Eight to a publishing company and release it in text format.
Something of a tragedy has occurred here. Tarantino is a phenomenal writer, yes, and he’s able to create living, breathing, idiosyncratic characters out of the depths of his imagination with seemingly very little effort. But he is just as skilled with the camera as he is with the pen. His films are meant to be seen and heard on the biggest, baddest, loudest screens available. He makes movies so entertaining that they all but announce themselves as they begin to play. There are only a handful of living people who speak and comprehend the language of film as fluently as he does.
Think, for instance, about the amount of care he places into the soundtracks of his films. He almost never uses composers to score his movies because he trusts only himself to find ‘the’ song that belongs in a particular scene. While it may be nice to be able to read this new script, the sadness of knowing one may never be able to see it come alive onscreen will eclipse it.
Furthermore, the everyday person must ask themselves if they will actually read the leaked The Hateful Eight script until it has been released on his terms. Here is a man who enjoyed making Django Unchained so much that he decided to make his next project take place in the same genre and era. With that, as well as the knowledge that a brilliant artist’s work has been treated with pure malice, what enjoyment can be salvaged from reading the script?
However, the prolific Tarantino will surely land on his feet. Discussing the leaked script, his film cancellation, and what his next project might be, he said, “I’ve got ten more where that came from.”
You’ll be able to find me at the midnight opening of whatever it may be.