Tarantino Installing 70mm Projectors for 'The Hateful Eight' Release
I wouldn't expect anything less from Quentin Tarantino, the owner of a classic repertory 35mm cinema in Los Angeles (and tons of old film reels and other lost film prints). Over the weekend at the Cine Gear Expo held in Hollywood, Panavision was represented at the Paramount Theater on Paramount's lot and showed 70mm footage from Tarantino's new film The Hateful Eight. Tarantino, with his cinematographer Robert Richardson, decided this next western should be presented in 2.78:1 aspect ratio. So they decided to shoot on 65mm film stock using classic Panavision lenses. In THR's post about the event, they hint: "word on the street is that plans are underway to equip roughly 50 U.S. theaters to show the movie in 70mm". Ooh.
The last time a major 70mm release caused a stir was when Paul Thomas Anderson put out The Master in 70mm, and the few remaining cinemas that could show it definitely did so. Tarantino wants that experience again. Here's another interesting quote from the event from Panavision regarding Tarantino's desires:
"He really wants to get people back into theaters. You’re not going to get this [at home]. He did something really great to bring that [experience] back," Panavision's vp of optical engineering Dan Sasaki said of Tarantino, a vocal film proponent. "Quentin wanted an epic Western, something that hasn’t been seen in forever, that would really wow people. [When he saw this test,] he started bouncing in his seat."
The Hateful Eight (see the first photos here) is another revenge western from Tarantino, this time set in a blizzard. He filmed most of it in Colorado, on a "refrigerated" set, and this was actually the "first production since 1966's Khartoum to use Ultra Panavision 70 anamorphic lenses." Tarantino's renewed interest also caused Panavision to get back into the lenses, and THR adds that they "reworked 19 of these classic lenses for the production in just a few months". They even note that "these lenses are expected to next be used for Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One by cinematographer Greig Fraser". So there will be lots of gorgeous cinema to see coming up. It seems as if film, and these lenses, ain't so dead after all. Thanks to Tarantino.
There is still no official confirmation on the 70mm cinemas, nor is there even an official release date for The Hateful Eight yet, but we're expecting to hear more soon. It will likely be in theaters by the end of the year.