Let’s Play: Watch It or Read It? Tarantino and The Hateful Eight

Still photos from Quentin Tarantino’s latest film have appeared on Imgur and Reddit. These photos led me to do a search on Google for the full script of The Hateful Eight. In three seconds, I found it online.

It’s kind of shocking to have major scripts so accessible on the Internet. There was a time when I worked in the entertainment industry and scripts were numbered, a last name was imprinted on every page, and high-profile future money making scripts were under strict lock and key. Not so in this day and age. Everything has gone digital. This version of The Hateful Eight looks like the real thing because the Chapter Headings are handwritten as is Tarantino’s style.

The Hateful Eight logline from imdb.com: “In post-Civil War Wyoming, bounty hunters try to find shelter during a blizzard but get involved in a plot of betrayal and deception. Will they survive?”

The film stars Channing Tatum, Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Zoe Bell, and Bruce Dern. The Weinstein Company is producing with an estimated budget of $44 million. C’mon. This is going to be good.

Doing a little more research, apparently the script was leaked online in 2014 and in the original ending, imdb.com said all of the story’s characters had died or were dying. Tarantino said that the ending would be changed.  That was probably because of the leaked script. And now it all comes back to me. I remember the story about the leaked script in 2014.  Tarantino sued Gawker for providing a link to the original script and then he withdrew his lawsuit.

What’s really interesting to me is that Tarantino held a full table reading of the script in April 2014. Apparently, it was a charity fundraiser where tickets cost $200 a piece.  How cool is that? Most of the big stars participated in the reading of the entire script.

Tarantino is an original.  Even if people read the script, everyone is going to want to see the film.

My choice:  Watch it.  I don’t want to spoil the ending of his new script.  It’s going to be brilliant.

Tight editing has so much to do with the success of a film. Tarantino and his team are brilliant at editing.  Sadly, his original editor died in 2010.  But he’s stayed true to the editing style. Honestly, more than anything, editing helps create the pacing of a good film.  And it can heighten the careers of actors who are edited properly.

Think of Sharon Stone.  She was edited down in Basic Instinct and we saw little snippets of her while more reactionary shots focused on Michael Douglas.  Jump ahead to her next film and there were lingering shots of Sharon Stone with the editing being looser.  It did nothing for her performance and seemed to make the film drag.

Samuel L. Jackson is fabulous on his own, but Tarantino edits him with perfection. I believe they have collaborated on almost every Tarantino film. And for good reason. If something works, why change it?

So, this Tarantino film is going to be brilliant.  I don’t need to read the script to know that. Now, we just need a release date.

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