Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight” is now in theaters, and the film which we described as “gleefully nasty,” is certainly polarizing some audiences and critics —it can be an unpleasant experience at times, replete with bastard antagonists and with no characters to root for. Tarantino is in full press mode for the film, and as always he’s providing fascinating conversations and insights. His latest chat is with Happy Sad Confused.
While Tarantino called “Mad Max: Fury Road” his favorite film of the year, he admitted he was originally against the idea of a new ‘Mad Max’ film without Mel Gibson, and that he wanted to see the original character 30 years later. “In a world where Mel Gibson exists, what is Tom Hardy doing in the goddamn movie?” he asked. “I felt strongly about this. If John Carpenter was going to do a new ‘Escape From New York’ and thought he could do it without Kurt Russell, I’m sorry, I’m just not interested.”
But Tarantino eventually saw the film and praised Hardy’s performance, but still said he would have liked it better if the actor wasn’t playing Max Rockatansky but was instead to protray the feral child from ‘Road Warrior’ grown up. OK, feelings known on that one.
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Tarantino eventually segued to “Kill Bill,” noting that the full scripts of that movie have gone out of print and a new version is going to come out soon (looks like summer 2016, according to Amazon). But he also talked about potentially publishing the first draft of the screenplay with a version of Bill that was far different from David Carradine‘s rendition. Film historians may recall that Tarantino originally wanted Warren Beatty to play Bill, and the filmmaker said once Beatty passed and he moved on to Carradine, he tweaked the character as such.
“The Warren Beatty thing is interesting,” he said, “Because once I cast David Carradine, I did a lot of little rewrites… actually shifting the character into David’s sphere. And it was really interesting reading that first draft, because that’s the Warren Beatty version. He’s much more of a James Bond type of character —Bond as Blofeld, basically.”
As for the folklore that Daniel Day Lewis could have been in “Pulp Fiction,” in the Vincent Vega role, all Tarantino would say is “well, he was interested.”
The fascinating talk has lots of reveals. For example, Jennifer Jason Leigh turned down the role of Alabama in “True Romance,” and Tarantino was actually offered the chance to direct that film and “Natural Born Killers,” even after both were sold with their respective directors attached. Tarantino turned down both offers —even Tony Scott offered to step aside and executive produce “True Romance”— explaining in this talk that both films were meant to be “first film” showcases, and as he had already made “Reservoir Dogs,” he felt his sophomore effort had to be something in a different key.
Lastly, for all the talk of “The Hateful Eight” coming to the stage, Tarantino said he loves the idea, but would want to recast for this different production to give different actors a chance to interpret the material. Yet he says that the current cast gives him “the stink eye” when they hear this and aren’t ready to let those characters go.
“The Hateful Eight” is in limited 70mm roadshow release now and goes wide on December 31st. Listen to the full 50 minute conversation below.