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Quentin Tarantino Will Have Two Versions Of The Hateful Eight In Theaters

Whenever director Quentin Tarantino drops a new movie, it’s worth getting excited about, and his upcoming The Hateful Eight is one of the most hotly anticipated movies left to come in 2015. When it hits this holiday season, some theaters will show it in 70mm projection, but those that don’t will see a slightly different, not to mention shorter, version of the film.

Chatting with Variety, the fast-talking director revealed the reason for this discrepancy between formats, saying:

I actually changed the cutting slightly for a couple of the multiplex scenes because it’s not [the 70mm version]. Now it’s on Showtime Extreme. You’re watching it on TV, and you just kind of want to watch a movie on your couch. … It was awesome in the bigness of 70, but sitting on your couch, maybe it’s not so awesome. So I cut it up a little bit. It’s a little less precious about itself.

So there will be two versions of The Hateful Eight hitting screens this December. The "roadshow" cut, which hits theaters first, will play in 70mm, but it will also be the longer, idealized version of the film. According to Tarantino, this version will have both an overture and an intermission to contend with. It will be approximately six-and-a-half minutes longer than the other, longer still if you count the intermission, and the whole shebang will clock in at just over three hours.

The multiplex version, which arrives in theaters two weeks after the roadshow cut, will feature different iterations of some scenes, and the reason is to accommodate the two different formats.

More than 100 theaters across the country have been (or will be) retrofitted to accommodate the 70mm showing, some at the director’s expense. Tarantino hopes this move leads more filmmakers to use the format in the future, and even film itself rather than digital. Screening different cuts is certainly one way to increase interest, as it seems likely that more people will be interested in watching the intended version than those enticed by the prospect of a 70mm presentation alone. The format is likely most attractive to hardcore cinephiles.

A second straight western for the director, following 2012’s Django Unchained, The Hateful Eight is set in frontier Wyoming shortly after the Civil War. During a vicious snowstorm, eight nefarious characters, including bounty hunters and outlaws of all stripes, hunker down and seek shelter in the same weigh station. You can imagine the mischief a filmmaker like Quentin Tarantino can get up to with such a scenario.

As usual, Tarantino has assembled an incredible cast, and the call sheet includes Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Bruce Dern, Walton Goggins, Tim Roth, Channing Tatum, Demian Bichir, Michael Madsen, Tim Roth, and Zoe Bell.

The Hateful Eight hits theaters Christmas Day.