While Hollywood tends to gripe about piracy and the theft of intellectual property, the dirty secret that no one wants to talk about is that sometimes, people in the industry are the perpetrators of this sort of thing. Indeed, one only has to make a couple of Google searches to find screeners for this year’s awards contenders available if you look (not so) hard enough. And now, Quentin Tarantino has fallen victim to slippery fingers, and with great vengeance and furious anger, has shelved his next film.
Deadline reports that Tarantino has decided to cancel his recently announced next movie, the western "The Hateful Eight." The project was one he was already eyeing Bruce Dern for and was in the process of assembling a cast to shoot next winter. But after giving the script to six people—including producer Reggie Hudlin, Bruce Dern, Tim Roth and Michael Madsen (note: he was sought for the role that was mistakenly identified for Christoph Waltz)—one of them let it get into the hands of their agent or manager. When Tarantino’s agent started getting calls from other agents trying to pitch their talent for the film, that’s when the director knew something was up.
“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,” Tarantino said. “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. I’m going to publish it, and that’s it for now. I give it out to six people, and if I can’t trust them to that degree, then I have no desire to make it. I’ll publish it. I’m done. I’ll move on to the next thing. I’ve got 10 more where that came from.”
And while Tarantino realizes that his scripts are highly sought after—legally or not—he doesn’t necessarily have a problem with it, though it does perturb him that from this small group of people, his work still managed to leak. “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,” Tarantino told Deadline. “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.”
Indeed, the director is now looking to publish the script, and perhaps revisit it down the line. But for now, he’ll jump to his next movie idea, one that also has a lead role for Bruce Dern, a project he already says he’s "full of piss and vinegar about," though he won’t say any more. As for "The Hateful Eight"? He thinks it was either Dern’s or Madsen’s people who circulated the script, and it’ll be interesting to see where the fingers start pointing. But maybe this incident will fuel whatever Tarantino will be writing next…