The first trailer for The Hateful Eight, the latest from genre director Quentin Tarantino, touted that the audiences could see the feature in “glorious 70mm.”
The world premiere of the film took place on Monday night at the ArcLight Hollywood Cinerama Dome, which is one of the Los Angeles locations that will be able to screen the movie in the format.
Before the screening began, Bob Weinstein stood in front of the giant Cinerama Dome screen and told the story of when Tarantino first pitched the project to him during a visit to the director’s house.
Weinstein recalled: “He explained that he wanted to shoot in 70mm and he wanted to distribute the film as a roadshow experience much like they did in the 1950s and ‘60s. Since there were less than ten 70mm projectors at the time he said we would have to find the old ones, reconstruct them and service them, and then book the great, classic, old-style 1,500-seat theaters across the country to complete his vision.”
Weinstein then said Tarantino told him that he didn’t have to commit to such a project, to which the exec responded: “F— yeah, Quentin. You better believe I’m in on this mission.”
Weinstein brought the director up and presented him with a plaque of the title card from the film to commemorate the occasion.
Tarantino then turned to the audience and yelled, “Are you ready to get some hate up in this bitch?!” He then proceeded to introduce the entire cast of the film in WWE-announcer style, which whipped the audience into a frenzy. “These are my Hateful Eight!” he yelled before going back to his seat to take in his 3-hour-plus creation.
Before the screening, on the red carpet for the premiere, The Hollywood Reporter talked to the producers about the bringing the 70mm epic to life.
“Before we actually shot a frame of film we had hired a guy to oversee the 70mm aspect of finding the projectors and getting them ready to go on the road and into theaters,” said producer Shannon McIntosh. “They’re aren’t a lot of 70mm projectors laying around.”
Theaters will be retrofitted with projectors capable of showing the film in a 2.76:1 aspect ratio, with roughly 100 screens set to run the 70mm print on Christmas Day.
“It’s all about finding the right team. We found Chapin Cutler, who is with Boston Light & Sound, and the first thing he ever did was run a 70mm projector with My Fair Lady,” said McIntosh.
When asked how the narrative benefited from the format, producer Stacey Sher explained, “I think beyond filming the gorgeous vistas, 70mm had the ability to get into the hearts and minds of the characters.”
The Hateful Eight stars a murderer’s row of Tarantino favorites and newcomers, including Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Dern, Kurt Russell, Tim Roth, Channing Tatum, Michael Madsen and Jennifer Jason Leigh. The film is a John Ford-esque Western set in post-Civil War Wyoming during a blizzard that traps a ragtag group of strangers with violent proclivities inside a haberdashery.
The latest Tarantino film is believed to be the first production since 1966’s Khartoum to use Ultra Panavision 70 anamorphic lenses during production. “Panavision had to retrofit the lenses for us and to get the technology working.” The lenses are expected to next be used for the stand-alone Star Wars film Rogue One. Along with Panavision, Fotokem and Kodak leant their services to the endeavor.
When asked about the importance of filming in 70mm, Dern said: “Have you seen Lawrence of Arabia? That’s why it’s important.”
Hateful Eight will be released on Dec. 25 with the 70mm screenings, and will go wide with the digital format on Jan. 8.
Dec. 9, 3:35 pm A previous version of this story incorrectly reported the theater location count for The Hateful Eight‘s exclusive film run. THR regrets the error.