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By now, you’ve probably heard the Quentin Tarantino news, but just in case you haven’t, let me give you the cliff notes version in a few sentences. He wrote a movie called The Hateful Eight. The citizens of the world collectively agreed it sounded awesome. He turned over the script to 6 people he trusted. One of those people showed the script to an agent, who in turn sent it around Hollywood, with some specifics about various roles. Tarantino, always a fiery guy, felt so betrayed he promptly abandoned the project yesterday, claiming he would publish the screenplay and make a different film.
Not surprisingly, most people seem to be responding to the news with great vengeance and furious anger toward the unknown culprit who leaked the script, but there are actually a minority of people out there who have had the opposite response, who don’t seem to understand why he's taken the soccer ball and gone home when he could have merely discovered the culprit and excluded him from the movie as punishment.
So, let’s have a real conversation about this. Let’s take a logical look at the pros and cons of Tarantino abandoning The Hateful Eight and see how the chips actually stack up.
The Pros Of Moving OnIt sends a clear message to Hollywood that leaking one of his scripts will never be tolerated. You know those parents who say, "If you don’t stop yelling, we’re going to go home" and then watch their kids continue to yell without actually leaving? Tarantino is not one of those parents. When he sets down ground rules, you can bet your ass those rules will be followed, and this is the clearest evidence of that we’ve ever gotten. No one will ever leak one of his scripts again because he will name names, he will abandon projects and he will make a gigantic scene. Moving forward, I bet a significant percentage of actors don’t even show the script to their wives, husbands or parents. And for a director who likes writing twists and turns, that has huge value.
It allows him to clear his head and get excited about a different project. Sometimes when the bad vibes and bad karma are flowing around a project, the best thing to do is wander away for quite awhile until you get excited about it again. Clearly, Tarantino was irate about what happened here, and even if his reaction was over the top, it doesn’t change the fact that the breach in security sucked all of the excitement he had out of the project. Making a movie is an arduous, exhausting, frustrating, frequently miserable task, and that’s even under the best of circumstances with nothing but positive momentum. God only knows how hard it would be to finish a movie you weren’t even interested in making to begin with.
It might get him away from making yet another Western. I may have thought Django was a little bit long, but basically, it was a damn good movie worthy of the accolades it got. Looking back, I’m really happy Tarantino decided to honor Spaghetti Westerns by putting his own stamp on the genre, but to be honest, I’m really not sure I’m interested in him revisiting the Great American West so quickly. Now, full disclosure, there’s a very real chance he might just make a different Western, but it could also be the rumored horror movie or even a return to the fast-talking crime genre he originally played within.
He could still make this movie in the future. Just because he’s going to step away from The Hateful Eight now and look into making something else doesn’t mean he won’t ever get excited about circling back. Besides, God only knows how many additional brilliant ideas he could come up with to add to the script if he casually works on it for a half decade in between other projects. It’s not like there’s a real fear of him running into funding problems or not being able to attract A-list talent. Damn near everyone in Hollywood wants to work with the director. He can pull a project like this out of development hell with one stroke of his pen.
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