The future looked set: last week it was reported that Quentin Tarantino was moving forward with an old school ensemble Western called The Hateful Eight as his ninth feature. But the future has been rewritten due to a betrayal in the writer/director's inner circle.
The filmmaker contacted a reporter over at Deadline this evening to reveal that he will no longer be making The Hateful Eight as his next picture because one of the six people he gave the script to let it get leaked out to an agency. Tarantino says that he isn't upset that the screenplay is getting around, but rather that somebody he trusted would stab him in the back. "I am not talking out of both sides of my mouth, because I do like the fact that everyone eventually posts it, gets it and reviews it on the net," he told the site. "Frankly, I wouldn’t want it any other way. I like the fact that people like my shit, and that they go out of their way to find it and read it. But I gave it to six motherfucking people! Starting this week, I’ll be setting meetings with publishers."
As that last line suggests, the plan now for the script is to have it turned into a book and sold in stores. It's future as a film isn't completely dead, as the director says that he will revisit it in the next five years and see how he feels, but it definitely won't be his next project.
So who are the suspects that may have leaked the script? Tarantino says that he gave copies of the screenplay to Reservoir Dogs stars Michael Madsen and Tim Roth, Bruce Dern, and Django Unchained producer Reggie Hudlin, who showed the script to an agent at his house (there's no mention of the sixth person). The director says that one of them let their agent get a copy of the screenplay, and then the script leaked from there. Tarantino says he discovered the problem when his agent told him that he had received calls from other agents pitching their clients for specific roles. Said the director,
"That’s a betrayal, but not crippling because the agent didn’t end up with the script. There is an ugly maliciousness to the rest of it. I gave it to three actors: Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern, Tim Roth. The one I know didn’t do this is Tim Roth. One of the others let their agent read it and that agent has now passed it on to everyone in Hollywood. I don’t know how these fucking agents work, but I’m not making this next. I’m going to publish it, and that’s it for now. I give it out to six people and if I can’t trust them to that degree, then I have no desire to make it. I’ll publish it. I’m done. I’ll move on to the next thing. I’ve got ten more where that came from."
The good news is that it sounds like it won't take much time for Tarantino to get another script together. Apparently he has been developing two stories in his head simultaneously, and now that The Hateful Eight is out of the picture he will be moving on to the second idea. "The idea was, I was going to write two scripts. I wasn’t going to shoot the Western until next winter, and I have been full of piss and vinegar about the other one. So now I’ll do that one."
I must admit that I'm of two minds about this development. On the one hand, the idea of Tarantino making a Western starring Bruce Dern, Tim Roth, and Michael Madsen sounds absolutely amazing, but on the other hand the writer/director is coming off his ode to spaghetti Westerns, so now may be the perfect time to do something different anyway. What I do know for sure is that I will be picking up a copy of The Hateful Eight when it hits bookshelves.