Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' Live-Read Reveals Script Still Developing
by Ethan Anderton
April 21, 2014
Though we weren't on hand to attend the once-in-a-lifetime event, Quentin Tarantino's live-read of his delayed western script The Hateful Eight still revealed some cool and promising tidbits for fan's of the iconic, contemporary filmmaker. First of all, the good news is that Tarantino is still working on the script and doesn't sound quite as adverse to making the film after all. At Film Independent's event at LACMA, Tarantino explained to the crowd (which included Harvey and Bob Weinstein), "This is the first draft." And he added he was already writing a second draft with a new ending, and a third draft as well. So that's good.
Along that same line, The Film Stage is saying that there are plans for Tarantino to shoot the film next winter after all, but no other outlets (including THR and Variety) that attended the event have corroborated that report, so we're not sure if that's accurate. As for the second draft, Tarantino said it would change the final chapter of his story, which was titled "Black Night, White Hell," and the LACMA audience will be the only people to see the original ending brought to life. Speaking of which, let's talk about the cast that Tarantino rounded up for this special event.
For those just joining us, the film was revealed to follow the steadily ratcheting tension that develops after a blizzard diverts a stagecoach from its route, and traps a pitiless and mistrustful group in a saloon in the middle of nowhere. The stranded group included a competing pair of bounty hunters, a renegade Confederate soldier, and a female prisoner. We already learned on Friday that Samuel L. Jackson would reunite with Tarantino for the film, and he ended up playing one of the two bounty hunters, Major Marquis Warren. But who filled up the rest of the roles?
Well, Kurt Russell played the other bounty hunter, John Ruth (also known as "The Hangman"), in a role that was essentially the co-lead of the entire film alongside Jackson. In addition, Amber Tamblyn played Daisy Domergue, a woman that Ruth aims to transport to her hanging; James Parks (Kill Bill, Death Proof) filled in as a stagecoach driver; and Walton Goggins took the role of Chris Mannix, a former Confederate with big future prospects. All of the aforementioned characters encounter a mysterious quartet of Tim Roth as Oswaldo Mobray, Michael Madsen as John Gage, Denis Minochet (Inglourious Basterds) as Frenchman Bob and Bruce Dern as Confederate General Smithers. And finally, Zoe Bell also shows up appropriately as a New Zealand bounty hunter named Six-Horse Judy, along with Dana Gourrier and James Remar as pivotal supporting characters names Minnie and Jody.
That's a hell of a cast, filled mostly by Tarantino alums, and it would appear that even though he was frustrated by one of the few people who had the script and allowed it to be leaked, the previously rumored actors (which included Roth, Madsen and Dern) were still contacted to star in this live-read. The director had just as much fun with stage direction and reading the non-dialogue portions of the script, including mentions of the snowy Wyoming setting set post-Civil War and most importantly, shot in "“70mm gloriousness.” Tarantino even stopped his actors one time from moving away from the dialogue on the page saying, "No more co-writing."
This sounds like such a unique experience with special insight into how Tarantino directs his actors, we wish we could have been there to witness it. But for now, we'll have to take solace in the fact that Tarantino will continue working on the script, and we might end up seeing it sooner than later. If anything, maybe this little event reinvigorated the director to get the film in front of a camera. Of course, since making a movie is much different than a live-reading of a script, we'll have to wait and see if all the actors on hand end up starring in the film version. We'll do our best to keep you posted.