What happens when an unstoppable force (pun intended) meets an immovable object? Well, you get Quentin Tarantino calling out Disney one day before “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” opens and just over a week before “The Hateful Eight” rolls out in 70mm. The push and shove for screens during the holiday season has seen some decisions being made that have left Tarantino quite upset.
Chatting with Howard Stern, the director claimed this morning that Disney strong-armed Arclight Cinemas Cinerama Dome in Los Angeles to postpone its presentation of “The Hateful Eight,” in order to keep “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” on its screens through the holidays. The filmmaker asserts that Disney threatened to pull ‘The Force Awakens’ from Arclight cinemas when the latter said it was going to honor its contract for “The Hateful Eight.” So Tarantino is plenty steamed.
“It was real bad news and it fucking pissed me off. They are going out of their way to fuck me,” he said. “It’s vindictive, it’s mean, and it’s extortion. I made a lot of money for the Disney corporation.” In case you forgot, the director’s early years found him flourishing at Miramax, which was part of the Disney corporate umbrella in the 1990s. Tarantino added that he had no beef with ‘Force Awakens’ director J.J. Abrams, with whom he is friendly and for whom he appeared in an acting capacity on “Alias.”
There’s no official word yet from Disney or The Weinstein Company on the matter, but there’s another scenario that perhaps Tarantino isn’t considering. Maybe Arclight wants to have a movie that has already smashed advance ticket sales records and will surely smash more box office records on its screens for as long as possible. ‘The Force Awakens’ is shaping up to be the kind of money train that theaters don’t get too often, and there will likely be fans going back more than once to see the movie on the big screen.
Listen to Tarantino’s comments below. [Deadline]