In a rather surprising real-life tale of Hollywood betrayal, Quentin Tarantino has decided to abandon his new Western project The Hateful Eight, after the first draft of his script was leaked all over town. Instead of directing the film, he now plans to publish the script as is, and start over on a new, unspecified project, possibly revisiting The Hateful Eight in about five years.
We first reported on the project earlier this month, when word got out that the writer-director had finished his first draft, and was eyeing Christoph Waltz and Bruce Dern for roles in the film. After completing his draft, the filmmaker gave his script to six people, including Django Unchained executive producer Reginald Hudlin and actors Tim Roth, Michael Madsen and Bruce Dern. He first learned about the script leak earlier today, when his agent, Mike Simpson, began getting calls from other agents, pitching their clients for roles in the film.
"I'm very, very depressed. I finished a script, a first draft, and I didn't mean to shoot it until next winter, a year from now. I gave it to six people, and apparently it's gotten out today."
While it isn't known who the other two people are that the filmmaker gave his script to, he laid out more details about how this leak may have happened.
"I gave it to one of the producers on Django Unchained, Reggie Hudlin, and he let an agent come to his house and read it. That's a betrayal, but not crippling because the agent didn't end up with the script. There is an ugly maliciousness to the rest of it. I gave it to three actors: Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern, Tim Roth. The one I know didn't do this is Tim Roth. One of the others let their agent read it and that agent has now passed it on to everyone in Hollywood. I don't know how these fucking agents work, but I'm not making this next. I'm going to publish it, and that's it for now. I give it out to six people and if I can't trust them to that degree, then I have no desire to make it. I'll publish it. I'm done. I'll move on to the next thing. I've got ten more where that came from."
The filmmaker said he suspected the leak came from inside the talent agency CAA, which represents Bruce Dern, a claim the agency vehemently denies. A CAA representative revealed that the issue could be that Quentin Tarantino dispersed the script without a watermark that normally prevents someone from secretly passing out the screenplay. That being said, it will be difficult to prove who is the cause of this breach, since an agent may have asked their assistant to photocopy the script, which may have been shared with other industry peers that could lead into the script being circulated around town without any security measures in place.
He added that he doesn't mind when bloggers get a hold of his scripts and review them, although it never happens this early in the process. He had only just begun to take meetings with The Weinstein Company, to discuss how to make the Western.
"I am not talking out of both sides of my mouth, because I do like the fact that everyone eventually posts it, gets it and reviews it on the net. Frankly, I wouldn't want it any other way. I like the fact that people like my shit, and that they go out of their way to find it and read it. But I gave it to six motherfucking people! Starting this week, I'll be setting meetings with publishers."
The filmmaker also admitted that he may change his mind on scrapping the project, but his original plan was to complete this script and another unspecified project before he shot The Hateful Eight next winter.
"I could totally change my mind, I own the fucking thing. But I can tell you, it's not going to be the next thing I do. It's my baby, and if the muse calls me later to do it, we'll do it. I was thinking about the idea of maybe publishing it before I made it, but now that deal happens for sure, and I'm not doing it next. The idea was, I was going to write two scripts. I wasn't going to shoot the Western until next winter, and I have been full of piss and vinegar about the other one. So now I'll do that one."
When asked about the initial report that he was eyeing Christoph Waltz and Bruce Dern for roles in The Hateful Eight, the filmmaker revealed he hadn't even given the script to Christoph Waltz, and that it was Michael Madsen who was being sought.
"I hadn't given it to Christoph, I haven't given it to Sam Jackson. I gave it to three motherfucking actors. We met in a place and I put it in their hands. Reggie Hudlin's agent never had a copy. It's got to be either the agents of Dern or Madsen. Please name names."
Quentin Tarantino hasn't revealed any details about the new project he will be starting after this debacle.