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If there’s one thing that Quentin Tarantino has proven throughout his career, it’s that he’s a unique director who’s very passionate about his work. This was certainly the case when he was developing The Hateful Eight. During the development process, Tarantino met with Universal Pictures to discuss possible distribution of the film. However, an unexpected suggestion caused the Kill Bill director to storm out of the room.
Quentin Tarantino had major plans for The Hateful Eight, as he was aiming for a large budget and hoped to shoot on 70mm film, according to The Wall Street Journal (via IndieWire). So you can imagine he was thrown for a loop when Jeff Shell, who at that time was the head Universal executive, pitched the idea of releasing the film on iPhones. In response, Tarantino replied with a simple “great,” and immediately walked out of the meeting.
Needless to say, things didn’t pan out between Tarantino and Universal, and The Hateful Eight was ultimately distributed by The Weinstein Company. Although, the film would actually deal a financial blow to the company, as it would only bring in $155 million worldwide at the box office.
Jeff Shell’s proposal was definitely radical at the time but, in the long run, it actually proved to be somewhat progressive. Since then, mobile devices have become a part of the film and TV experiences. This includes content being released to phones or even being shot with the use of them. At present, Shell is still making polarizing moves, particularly when it comes to the release of films on multiple platforms.
Given the unusual nature of his idea at the time and Quentin Tarantino’s dedication to shooting on film, one can understand why he was down for releasing The Hateful Eight on iPhones. And those who have seen the film knows that -- in typical Tarantino fashion -- he takes full advantage of all the thrills and stunts that come alive on the big screen.
But the film still had its share of problems when it hit the big screen, and they weren’t just financial. Because Tarantino wanted the film to be screened on special vintage projectors for 70mm films, some reported problems of broken projectors in theaters. This idea was later downplayed by theater executives. Despite all of that, the film still garnered a nice following and scored an Oscar win for Best Original Score.
This wasn't the only disagreement that Quentin Tarantino has had with a studio executive and, due to his status as a cinephile, it probably won’t be the last. Still, the director did team up with Netflix for an extended Hateful Eight cut, so maybe we could see him exploring multiple content platforms in the near future.
The Hateful Eight is currently available to stream on Netflix.