Quentin Tarantino Making 'Hateful Eight' Investors Read Script in Weinstein Lockdown
Potential buyers looking to pick up foreign rights must score an invite to read the revised screenplay and make a 20-minute trek from AFM headquarters in Santa Monica to Beverly Hills
A version of this story first appeared in the Nov. 14 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
Quentin Tarantino and The Weinstein Co. aren't taking any more chances with The Hateful Eight.
Insiders say that "extreme security precautions" are in place to prevent another leak of the post-Civil War Western script, which Tarantino will start shooting by year's end.
TWC now is rallying foreign money at AFM, but the company has confirmed to THR that buyers looking to invest must score an invite to read the closely guarded, revised script, and will be allowed to do so only in TWC's Beverly Hills office (a 20-minute trek from AFM headquarters in Santa Monica), where they can be supervised by staffers.
This isn't the first time TWC have gone to extreme measures to keep a script under wraps. The company did the same thing with Paul Thomas Anderson's Scientology-inspired drama The Master when it pre-sold the project to buyers in Cannes in 2011.
Tarantino reworked his script to The Hateful Eight after his original draft was leaked online early this year. The director initially abandoned the project after the leak and filed a lawsuit against Gawker Media for linking to the script online, though he later dropped the suit.
Several members of the movie's cast, including Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Tim Roth and Michael Madsen, did a public reading of the original Hateful Eight script in Los Angeles in April. Jennifer Jason Leigh, who did not take part in the reading, has also signed on to play the film's female lead. Tarantino said the reading would be the one and only time the story would be seen with its original ending, in which all of the movie’s major characters die. The original script was divided into five sections, or chapters, and Tarantino has said he has substantially rewrote the film's final section, originally titled “Black Night, White Hell.”
Tarantino will begin shooting The Hateful Eight in Colorado next month. Sources say the director is set to deliver the film for the Toronto Film Festival next year. TWC will release the film in the U.S. next Fall. The budget has been reported to be $44 million but sources say TWC is now quoting a $60 million budget figure to buyers. TWC declined to comment on The Hateful Eight's budget.
Based on the public reading of the original script, The Hateful Eight is described as a combination between a Django Unchained-style Western and an Agatha Christie-esque whodunit. It is set in snowy Wyoming a few years after the Civil War. The title refers to a disparate group of travelers who are stranded together in a haberdashery when their stagecoach is forced to stop during a blizzard. The majority of the film takes place in that haberdashery, as the men and women engage in conversation and shootings and Jackson's character, an African-American Civil War veteran, tries to find out which one of them filed the coffee pot in the room with poison.