This is a sad story, and one full of anger too.
In a call to Deadline‘s Mike Fleming, Quentin Tarantino has explained why he won’t be making The Hateful Eight his next movie, and he’s not held back on pointing the finger he’s at it.
Looking to get some actors’ feedback on his screenplay, Tarantino says he shared copies of the Hateful script with Tim Roth, Bruce Dern and Michael Madsen. He says that he also showed it to Reginald Hudlin and, apparently, two other folk.
But at least one of these people then shared the script with their agent and, somehow, this then resulted in the script being leaked to others. Tarantino quickly found that a number of people had read it, and this is what has prompted him to cancel the project.
I finished a script, a first draft, and I didn’t mean to shoot it until next winter, a year from now. I gave it to six people, and apparently it’s gotten out today… I gave it to one of the producers on Django Unchained, Reggie Hudlin, and he let an agent come to his house and read it. That’s a betrayal, but not crippling because the agent didn’t end up with the script. There is an ugly maliciousness to the rest of it. I gave it to three actors: Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern, Tim Roth. The one I know didn’t do this is Tim Roth. One of the others let their agent read it, and that agent has now passed it on to everyone in Hollywood. I don’t know how these fucking agents work, but I’m not making this next.
Now, I don’t know if Tarantino is going to feel any different having slept on it, but I understand the disappointment and disillusionment this dumped on him. Most of us have had a bond of trust breached, I imagine, and it can hurt much more to know you’ve been betrayed than any pain directly related to the leaking of the secret itself.
But I can promise you this: the real world impact of this script leak is near zero. I remember seeing copies of Inglourious Basterds basically littering the internet before that film went into production. If you were to move where the script trade flows, this one would definitely have come your way.
But then, a year later, when the film was actually opening in cinemas, and I went with friends to see it, what did they know about the film? Only what they’d seen in the trailers. And that’s my friends, people who hear me wittering on about films far, far too much.
A script leak can be far wider and louder than with The Hateful Eight and still the world at large won’t learn anything from it.
But Mr. Tarantino says he isn’t worried at all about the leak spoiling his script, it’s just the feeling of betrayal. Indeed, he says that he enjoys the inevitable online discussion of his screenplays:
I am not talking out of both sides of my mouth, because I do like the fact that everyone eventually posts it, gets it and reviews it on the net. Frankly, I wouldn’t want it any other way. I like the fact that people like my shit, and that they go out of their way to find it and read it. But I gave it to six motherfucking people! Starting this week, I’ll be setting meetings with publishers.
Yep, his plan now is to publish The Hateful Eight as a novel and then maybe make it into a movie in a few years. That’s an interesting reaction. I wish Fleming had asked him to explain it.
As for feature films, Tarantino says he has another idea ready to rev up and write. Maybe, just maybe, his unconscious has been drawing him over to that project in any case?