Quentin Tarantino had just dropped the first-ever-seen seven minutes of his Western “The Hateful Eight” on audiences at San Diego Comic-Con. The movie is a Western, but also a chamber drama of sorts, revolving around eight rough and tumble men and women stuck in a haberdashery during a Colorado snowstorm. There are bounty hunters, ex-Confederate soldiers, prisoners, everyone has an agenda, and no one can be trusted.
Shot in 70MM, audiences in San Diego were wowed by the footage, but perhaps more interestingly, the director revealed some heretofore unknown details. Tarantino says legendary film composer Ennio Morricone is going to score the wintry western. And while that’s exciting news, we should caution, Morricone was supposed to write original music for “Inglourious Basterds” and that never happened. Then, during “Django Unchained,” Morricone put Tarantino’s slavery epic on blast and skewered the director for the cartoonish violence in his film. The composer even went as far to say he’d “never work with him again.”
Morricone later recanted, claiming he hadn’t said what he had (but hey, read the translation, he did), and then even later spoke out about the scene that revolted him in “Django Unchained,” but it’s possible they’ve kissed and made up. I’d wait and see before I bought stock in that particular option. Tarantino has teased working in TV before, even though he’s absolutely against digital photography and calls digital projection “Television in public.”
“If I can’t shoot on film, if I can’t release on film…we’ll see what happens. I like the idea of leaving and having people wanting more,” he said via THR. “Maybe there are 10 movies but three mini-series for television. My scripts get cut down anyway. If I wrote a script and it’s eight hours, then we’ll be all good.”
Hypocritical to slam digital photography and TV, but wanting to do a TV mini-series or something more? Maybe not. Tarantino’s comments suggest, much like Steven Soderbergh, the filmmaker looks at his career in cinema as one thing and a career in TV as something else. Tarantino even suggested after he’s retired he could work in TV, which exactly the model Soderbergh has followed: he no longer directs feature films, but has been directing “The Knick” at Cinemax for two seasons now (season two airs in the fall).
No details on whatever Tarantino might be cooking for TV, but the director did toy with the idea of “Inglorious Basterds” as a mini-series after the script spiraled out of control. He later trimmed it down to cinema size, but it’s possible he could apply the long-running concept to another story. He has talked about extending “Django Unchained” for TV as well, so it feels like this idea has been brewing in his head for a long time now. Tweet context below, but here’s the “Hateful Eight” teaser poster and official synopsis first.
In THE HATEFUL EIGHT, set six or eight or twelve years after the Civil War, a stagecoach hurtles through the wintry Wyoming landscape. The passengers, bounty hunter John Ruth (Russell) and his fugitive Daisy Domergue (Leigh), race towards the town of Red Rock where Ruth, known in these parts as “The Hangman,” will bring Domergue to justice. Along the road, they encounter two strangers: Major Marquis Warren (Jackson), a black former union soldier turned infamous bounty hunter, and Chris Mannix (Goggins), a southern renegade who claims to be the town’s new Sheriff. Losing their lead on the blizzard, Ruth, Domergue, Warren and Mannix seek refuge at Minnie’s Haberdashery, a stagecoach stopover on a mountain pass. When they arrive at Minnie’s, they are greeted not by the proprietor but by four unfamiliar faces. Bob (Bichir), who’s taking care of Minnie’s while she’s visiting her mother, is holed up with Oswaldo Mobray (Roth), the hangman of Red Rock, cow-puncher Joe Gage (Madsen), and Confederate General Sanford Smithers (Dern). As the storm overtakes the mountainside stopover, our eight travelers come to learn they may not make it to Red Rock after all…