I Read The HATEFUL EIGHT Script By Quentin Tarantino…
And now I’m bummed it’s not going to be a movie.
(Potential Spoiler Alerts for anyone who’s going to try and read the script. Also, in the off chance the movie does end up getting made - spoiler alerts for that too. I do my best to be vague, but I still talk about story elements and stuff. You’ve been warned.)
Quentin Tarantino made waves in typical Tarantino fashion in late 2013 when he stated that he had finished the script to his new movie. Just as the hype was settling on that announcement he let word slip that he enjoyed making Django Unchained so much that his next movie would also be a Western. Well the steaming locomotive of news and excitement that was chugging along at full speed came to a screeching halt recently when QT announced that the film was being canned ‘cos of a script leak. Fans all over the internet went Pai Mei and started snatching their eyes out over the bad news. That wouldn’t be the last of it. Tarantino recently announced he’d be suing the website that announced the leaked script and shared a link to download the file. Cult fans of the cult genius went from midnight to six as their hopes for a new Tarantino film were smashed.
Well, you know how the internet works. Most people let it go, and moved on. Others, maybe just interested film fans or the die hards who can quote every Sam Jackson line from Pulp Fiction, took to the web with a fervor. Forums, threads, and torrent sites were devoured in hopes someone could track down this gem of a PDF that for all we know could’ve been Tarantino’s next big hit. Seeing how it’s 2014, I’m using the word “devoured” for dramatic effect. It took some dude a couple clicks and search queries, and there it was. From there, he shared it to whatever site, that site got however many more searches and downloads, and so on and so on. QT nerds everywhere are downloading and reading the script that contained their favorite drug - dialogue, action scenes, and more from the mind of one of Hollywood’s most original writers/directors.
Well, here I am writing this so as you can imagine I am one of those Tarantino nerds. I’m not the most hardcore nerd, but he is easily one of my favorite directors. And with that said, he has made some of my favorite films. Being that I’m not too handy with the internet (I’ve had Tumblr for almost four years and still learn new things about it) I implored a savvy friend of mine to find and send me the PDF of the controversy inspiring script. He did find it, he did send it, I did download it, and I did read it. And after clearing the 146 pages that are The HATEFUL EIGHT (it’s capitalized like that in the script, so I’m doing it here) I have to say that I’m actually sad that it isn’t going to be a major motion picture.
When Tarantino announced that The HATEFUL EIGHT was going to be a Western I was immediately excited. Django Unchained was another great flick in a long line of great QT flicks, so another film in this style would’ve been more than alright with me. But after reading the script it turns out another action-packed, gun slinging, damsel in distress, revenge story wasn’t what Quentin had in mind. All the trademarks are there; the style of the dialogue we all know and love, the larger than life characters, the wild violence (although not very much of it), and the well told story to back it all up. Quentin’s “go to” directorial and writing mannerisms are there, but what it seems like is he went back to his roots to branch outward. If I was seeing things the way Tarantino was wording them; then this movie would’ve borrowed not only some of Django’s wild, wild Western thematics - but would’ve also borrowed the “Whodunit?” aspect of Reservoir Dogs.
Reservoir Dogs came out in 1992, and if you haven’t seen it by now then shame on you. But for those who aren’t so inclined - Spoiler Alert : In Reservoir Dogs we meet a group of characters that pull off a heist. But unbeknownst to them, one of the members of their crew is an undercover cop. We, the viewers, know about the undercover cop due to some exposition around halfway (maybe a bit later?) through the movie. The HATEFUL EIGHT almost uses the same plot device except we don’t learn the twist ‘til closer to the ending. Some of the main characters are suspicious, but they’re unaware of what they’re suspicious about. I’m trying to remain vague for the sake of the people interested in reading the script, but I’m also trying to make sense. Bear with me.
Another aspect I feel like it slightly borrowed from Reservoir Dogs was the fact that a bulk of the movie takes place in one location. Reservoir Dogs has a bit more location variety than The HATEFUL EIGHT would have had, but a lot of the movie takes place in the warehouse that is the rendezvous point for the heist team. In his newest piece Quentin has the characters travel to a small location; which takes what seems would be 10-25 minutes (maybe more, maybe less - I don’t know. I don’t make movies) of the movie, and once that small location is reached that’s where the rest of the story pans out. Again, this goes against your typical setup of a Western where some films have the protagonist travel across vast landscapes, visit numerous towns, or at least use a small town as a whole setting. This film would’ve partially taken place on a mountain path, and then in a small cabin that said mountain path led up to. I liked this idea ‘cos it’s not something done everyday.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the script and as I said above I wish we were still going to be treated to seeing it come to life. It made me laugh, it made me cringe,and it was a damn exciting page turner! I burned through the 146 pages in about a day. Whether Quentin is serious about pulling the plug on this or not, it is a cool story. If you’re interested you should use the power of the internet to check it out. I’m not trying to encourage “stealing or illegal downloading”. I’m one of those people that still buys music in the form of CDs and records, I still buy movies, and I frequent movie theaters even though prices are getting fucking insane. I appreciate art in all its mediums and try to support people whose art I enjoy and believe in. I WOULD NOT have had my friend send me this if the movie were still going to be made, and that’s the honest truth.
With that being said, do what you want. The HATEFUL EIGHT is a cool story that would’ve been a badass movie.
P.S. My favorite QT movies are (in order of appreciation) : Kill Bill Vol.1 & Vol. 2, Pulp Fiction, Inglorious Basterds, Django Unchained, Reservoir Dogs, Jackie Brown, and Deathproof.