SDCC ’15: Quentin Tarantino’s Hateful Eight

HatefulIn a pre-recorded video broadcast, Sam Jackson and director Quentin Tarantino reveal that Hateful Eight was filmed on 65 mm film and then projected in 70 mm on Ultra Panavision. They’ll screen the film on Christmas 2015 in road show venues. In the past, a road show was a limited theatrical release with reserved seating and a musical overture, and it’s how classics like El Cid and Ben Hur were seen in theaters. Hateful Eight is coming this Christmas on 70 mm in Ultra Panavision in a road show near you.

Tarantino found the original lenses that were used on Ben Hur and used the same equipment for Hateful Eight. His camera department made sure the cameras and lenses held up in the freezing cold during filming. Hateful Eight mostly takes place in one location, and someone told Tarantino that 70 mm was unnecessary for that kind of shoot because it’s best for lots of traveling and various locations. Tarantino disagrees: 70 mm can get you closer to the actors, be more intimate and vivid, and it’s great for great drama. He’s not a fan of shooting or projecting on digital anyway—he’d rather work with film.

Moderator Chris Hardwicke screens a trailer. We see eight damaged, deadly people in the old west who get stuck in a cabin in a cold, snowy environment. They probably won’t all get along, many of them have hidden agendas, and there’s sure to be tension, betrayals, and violence.

The hateful eight are:

Sam Jackson – Marquis Warren

Kurt Russell – Jon Ruth

Jennifer Jason-Leigh – Daisy,

Walton Goggins – Chris Manni

Demian Bechir – Bob the Mexican

Tim Roth – Oswaldo Mobray

Michael Madsen – Joe Gage

Bruce Dern – General Sandy Smithers

Russell says there’s no director like Tarantino, who’s in a league of his own. Every few generations, someone comes along that does things uniquely and interestingly that works, and Russell thinks every actor should have a chance to work with Tarantino. He was thrilled to be a part of the director’s vision for this movie.

Hateful Eight’s script leak pissed Tarantino off, and he wrote two more drafts before shooting on the third. There will be no anime in Hateful Eight like there was in the Kill Bill series. As for other work, he mentioned that Kill Bill vol. 3’s been discussed so could happen sometime in the future, but doesn’t know. Tarantino doesn’t think of himself as a western director even those he’s made Hateful Eight, which is a western, and he did Django Unchained, another western. He’d have to make a third western before he’d put himself in that category. Otherwise, he’s just dabbling in the genre.

Jason-Leigh said her character’s Jon Ruth’s prisoner, and she’s feral and just doing what she has to for survival, but she’s smart and crazy like a fox. Walton Goggins is excited and feels that it’s special to be part of this movie.

Bechir’s a fan of all the actors in the movie and likes working with such a stellar cast. Bechir’s character was French in the first draft, but Tarantino made him Mexican and asked Robert Rodriguez whom to cast, and Rodriguez recommended Bechir.

Roth feels that Tarantino’s an efficient director. As an actor, you just do what he tells you to do and read the script, and you’re done. It’s very clear what’s expected of you. Madsen, who’s worked with Roth in the past on Reservoir Dogs, said that the two of them are just picking up where they left off before in terms of rapport. They’re a bit older and stronger now, but still under the control of the best director on the planet.

Tarantino’s not sure he’ll stop directing after 10 films, which is something he’d told the media before. He likes the idea of doing 10 and stopping but may not stick to that. It appeals to him to stop working and leaving room for more, but it’s too early to predict what he’ll do. He may do television miniseries after he finishes 10 films.

Dern joked that Tarantino cast him as an asshole because Tarantino probably watched him play a jerk so often on television in the past. Dern says that all the actors were excited to be asked to do Hateful Eight, and that Tarantino has the greatest attention to detail of any director, except for Lucino Visconti. Tarantino creates an atmosphere where everyone—cast and crew—not only do their best work but get better by working with him. Working with him gives them a chance to do something they’ve never done before.

Tarantino says the favorite thing he’s written or said in a movie was the opening French farmhouse scene in Inglourious Basterds. He announces that he’s going to use an original score for Hateful Eight by Ennio Moriconi, who scored spaghetti westerns in the past. Work on the music will begin in Prague soon.