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1. Part of the beauty of the film is that its plot is very simple, but its cast of characters is very complex. The bulk of the movie takes place at cabin where eight VERY different people have found themselves trapped together during a massive blizzard. The plot centers on Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh), a fugitive being brought to justice by bounty hunter John “The Hangman” Ruth (Kurt Russell). On the way to collect his reward, Ruth and Domergue encounter another bounty hunter, Maquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson) and the supposed new sheriff in town, Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins). The foursome go as far as they can during a winter storm, but decide to take refuge at Minnie’s Haberdashery where they run into another group of four (Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Demian Bichir and Bruce Dern) who have also been sidetracked.As the group settles in it becomes clear everyone has an agenda, and that trusting the wrong person could deadly. The film’s tagline says it best: “No One Comes Up Here Without A Damn Good Reason.”
2. Counting a narration track in ‘Inglourious Basterds’ and a brief cameo in ‘Kill Bill Vol. 2’, ‘The Hateful Eight’ will mark the sixth time Tarantino and actor Samuel L. Jackson will collaborate together in a film project.
3. In a recent red-carpet interview with Harvey Weinstein, the studio chief and producer revealed that for scenes requiring white, fluffy snow, Tarantino asked for the genuine article to be imported into Telluride, where filming is currently underway. Usually one hears about directors wanting to get rid of snow, not bring more in.
4. In speaking at the SDCC panel, Quentin Tarantino suggested a trilogy of films in his Western repertoire. “You have to make at least three Westerns to call yourself a Western director,” he said.
5. The Weinstein Company announced that, as per Tarantino’s wishes, ‘The Hateful Eight’ will be given a wide theatrical release with bona fide 70mm film prints. The last major Hollywood film to be given such a release was Ron Howard’s ‘Far and Away’ in 1992, although Kenneth Branagh’s ‘Hamlet’ got a limited 70mm release in 1996.
6. Following in the footsteps of classics like Ben-Hur, Mutiny on the Bounty,Battle of the Bulge and It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad World, at selected cinemas fans will be able to see Quentin Tarantino and cinematographer Robert Richardson’s expansive visuals on a truly epic scale: the ultra-wide 2.76:1. As Tarantino told the SDCC panel, “We were first just looking for a really cool Skulk 70mm lenses.” As it turned out, the filmmaker used the exact same lenses that were used on Ben-Hur. “I am not a fan of digital projection. Everyone knows that I’m not a fan of shooting on digital, and I’m not even a fan of digital projection. By losing film projection, we’ve already seceded too much ground to the barbarians,” Tarantino said to an appreciative crowd.
7. Best known for his innovative music for spaghetti Westerns, particularly The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, composer Ennio Morricone will return to the Western genre with a completely original score after a 40-year absence. In the past, Tarantino used already-crafted Morricone compositions in his films Kill Bill: Volume 2, Inglorious Basterds and Django Unchained. Despite their track record of collaboration, Morricone supposedly told a group college students in Rome, “I wouldn’t like to work with him again, on anything.” He also added, “[he]places music in his films without coherence.” In a statement delivered to Entertainment Weekly, Morricone characterized the quotes as “a partial writing of my thoughts which has deprived the true meaning of what I said, isolating a part from the rest. In this way my statement sounds shocking, penalizing me and bothering me a lot.”
8. Although his scene-stealing performances in ‘Inglourious Basterds’ and ‘Django Unchained’ were a large part of why those films were ultimately so successful, unfortunately, Christoph Waltz wasn’t able to join the cast of ‘The Hateful Eight’.
9. From John Travolta in Pulp Fiction to Daryl Hannah in Kill Bill, Tarantino is no stranger to giving actors/actresses that have been out of the limelight for some time a chance at prominent and challenging roles. The same is true for Jennifer Jason Leigh who will play Daisy Domergue, a fugitive, who finds herself trapped in the blizzard with the likes of Samuel L. Jackson, Walton Goggins, Kurt Russell, Bruce Dern, Tim Roth and more.
10. Even before a single frame of the film was shot in frigid and blizzard-like conditions, there was already a storm brewing. After Tarantino had given a “first draft” of the film to some of the actors he had in mind, the script found its way onto Gawker. Tarantino was so enraged that he said he would no longer be making the film. Luckily, his relationship with journalist Mike Fleming Jr. proved important in saving the film. In speaking with one another following the Comic-Con panel, Tarantino told Fleming, “My first thought was, here I was all livid and mad, and I give you a scoop of all time, and you are like, ‘No, no, you have to make this movie.’ It was really lovely, actually, one of the sweeter moments I’ve had with a journalist, and showed me that you actually cared about me. As mad as I was, it made me stop and think, ‘did I really want to do this…’”
11. Tarantino’s previous film, Django Unchained, introduced the director to shooting a Western, and he immediately fell in love with the genre. After completing the film, Tarantino knew he wasn’t ready to let the wild west go, so he started working out ways to continue in the Django universe. He began working on a sequel, but as he kept writing he began to realize the story was actually being held back by the presence of Django. Tarantino then scrapped his initial idea and put Samuel L. Jackson’s character in place of Jamie Foxx’s Django. This allowed for all the characters in the film to be a mystery to the audience, and it freed up Tarantino to not to be tied to Django as a moral compass. After all, in a movie with “Hateful” in the title, there is little room for any character with strong morals. However, the film is still set in the Django universe and is the closest thing to a sequel audiences will get for now.
12. The Hateful Eight includes a number of Tarantino regulars (Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Madsen, etc.). However, the final cast went through a couple of iterations before being locked in place. For example, Daisy Domergue, the film’s lone female main character, was originally reported to be written for a younger actress. While Amber Tamblyn read the part during Tarantino’s Los Angeles County Museum of Art charity read-through and Jennifer Lawrence was the name most heavily tied to the role, neither actress panned out. Ultimately, Tarantino decided to alter the character, making it more appropriate for an older actress. Other names in the mix were rumored to include frequent Tarantino collaborator Christoph Waltz and the equally imposing Viggo Mortensen. Scheduling problems are believed to be the reasons for neither being able to sign on, but imagine how even more insane this cast would have looked with those names in the mix.
13. You have to admit that Quentin Tarantino is a “once-in-a-generation” type director. He has a truly unique style that really appeals to a certain group of moviegoers. Yet his time as a film director could be coming to a close as, during press interviews for Hateful Eight, he’s made a few comments about calling it a day. “Well I’m probably only going to make 10 movies, so I’m already planning on what I’m going to do after that. That’s why I’m counting them. I have two more left. I want to stop at a certain point.”
14. The final cut of The Hateful Eight is nothing like the first draft that got leaked back in 2014.
15. Quentin Tarantino’s movies seem to get longer with each one, but he’s hitting new territory with The Hateful Eight. The 70mm cut will be six minutes longer than the alternative version and come complete with a overture and intermission. In total, the runtime is 3 hours and 2 minutes, which is 17 minutes longer than Django Unchained and 30 minutes more than Inglourious Basterds. For comparison, Tarantino’s first film, Reservoir Dogs, is only 1 hour and 39 minutes. Name-wise The Hateful Eight is also the longest title in the filmography of the Oscar winner. Every other film has been two words.
16. The Hateful Eight is being called a horror film. Tarantino has said it’s not quite horror (and it’s not but there are some gruesome murders), but the film’s composer Ennio Morricone was inspired but Italian horror films.
17. The Hateful Eight is Quentin Tarantino’s eighth film and it also has eight in the title. There are eight main characters. It was filmed over eight weeks with eight cameras operated by eight camera operators all of whom have only eight fingers and eight toes. There was a tale told of cameramen so motivated to take part in the production they asked Eli Roth to cut off the digits which were surplus to requirement.
18. Kurt Russell’s Mustache is so magnificent that it has not only reversed climate change but is currently defeating ISIS in Syria. There are delegations from the UN pleading with Mr. Russell to keep from shaving.
19. The cast for The Hateful Eight includes many Tarantino regulars, including Tim Roth, Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Dern, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michael Madsen and Kurt Russell. According to onset rumors, the entire cast had sex in a massive orgy organized by Tarantino who sat on a tennis umpire’s chair shouting directions through a large cardboard cone.
20. When Tarantino’s original script was leaked online in a major brouhaha last year, he decided against making the picture, choosing to turn his epic script into an epic-length western novel in the tradition of Larry McMurtry and Cormac McCarthy. Luckily, tempers cooled and the film project was back on shortly after this very interesting idea was announced.
21. Tarantino’s original leaked screenplay draft featured a nihilistic finale in which every major character died. Since then, he’s had a change of heart and has admitted that the new ending he’s cooked up will be completely different. Tarantino’s films always featured a measure of hope no matter how violent and bleak they turned in spots. I’d hate to see that trend discontinue.
22. With a reported $ 44 million production budget, ‘The Hateful Eight’ is a relatively inexpensive production by modern Hollywood standards. It doesn’t really come as a surprise, since Tarantino is one of the few major directors who is especially mindful of his budget and whose movies usually turn a profit theatrically.