When Star Wars: The Force Awakens hit theaters in December it pretty much ran over every other movie in theaters when it came to box office success. No movie was able to adequately compete. One of the films that was a victim of the Star Wars juggernaut was Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight. Two months ago, the director accused Disney of intentionally targeting him in order to keep his movie out of a major Los Angeles theater. Today Tarantino is still angry, and his language is only getting stronger.
One of the key selling points behind The Hateful Eight was Quentin Tarantino’s decision to shoot the film in 70mm. A widescreen format that hadn’t been used in decades that would give his western a unique look. The format was the centerpiece of the films’ roadshow where the movie was shown in a handful of theaters in a longer version that included an intermission and a program. Many theaters needed to have projection equipment brought in in order to show the film in 70mm, but one of the theaters that already had the projector needed was the famous Cinerama Dome in Los Angeles. According to Tarantino, this was one of the theaters where The Hateful Eight was going to run in 70mm, but then he was informed that he was being bumped by Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Recently, the New York Daily News asked the director if he had made peace with Disney. His answer: not so much.
No, they fucked me over. I would never work (with Disney) in any way, shape or form after what they did to me. They fucked me over, and I made them a lot of money for Pulp Fiction, and that really is a bad way to treat a former employee who has worked very well for them.
Miramax was formerly owned by Disney which meant Quentin Tarantino was working for them when he made Pulp Fiction, so Tarantino now feels he was screwed by a former employer. According to Tarantino’s version of the story, the Cinerama Dome was told that if they screened The Hateful Eight then Disney would pull Star Wars: The Force Awakens from the theater entirely.
While there has been some evidence that this may not be entirely accurate, it does not appear to have softened Quentin Tarantino in the slightest. Part of the issue may be that Hateful Eight didn’t really perform as well as hoped. While the roadshow proved successful, the box office as a whole underperformed significantly, especially considering that Tarantino’s last film Django Unchained was his most successful movie to date, from a financial standpoint.
Not that we ever expected to see Quentin Tarantino direct a Marvel movie or anything, but we can write that off the list of possibilities for the foreseeable future. It looks like he’ll be holding the grudge for awhile.