Quentin Tarantino is bringing back an old school cinematic format for his upcoming Western The Hateful Eight. He shot his latest movie on 65mm film using the classic Panavision lenses in the widest aspect ratio of 2.76:1. This marks the first anamorphic 70mm theatrical release in nearly 50 years. But it might not be the last. A new rumor claims that director Gareth Edwards is utilizing a similar technique on the upcoming LucasFilm spinoff Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
The Ultra Panavision 70 anamorphic lenses were created specifically for The Hateful Eight. And Quentin Tarantino himself is overseeing the installation of more than fifty 70mm projectors in theaters across the United States for the film's limited Christmas Day release, before it goes wider in January playing in digital theaters. It makes sense that other productions would begin to utilize this format, otherwise all of that hardware is going to go to waste.
Gareth Edwards is said to be using the exact same Ultra Panavision 70 anamorphic lenses for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story as used on The Hateful Eight, making it the first ever FRgAKNrSBIT2km|Star Wars movie shot in the format. THR reported back in June that cinematographer Greig Fraser was considering using the lens, but that has still never been confirmed by anyone at Disney or Lucasfilm. Around that same time, it was also announced that this spinoff would be using the Arris Alexa 65 large-format 6K digital camera. Its believed the lens will be used with this innovative new camera.
No one is looking at the reemergence of 70mm as the new 3D, but it could help sustain the theater going experience, with ticket sales waning over the course of the last few years. And it sure would be a shame to see all that technology created and established for Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight to go to waste. But will it be enough to get general audiences excited? Or is this something that only appeals to true cinephiles?
Yesterday, Lucasfilm dropped it's latest teaser for Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Instagram, showing off the very first footage of John Boyega as Finn brandishing Luke Skywalker's lightsaber. The move was made to celebrate Instagram's landscape orientation which allows for a more cinematic platform, giving users the opportunity to post their own videos and photos in the 'widescreen' format. Average everyday users are getting more accustomed to the cinematic style and will certainly start to gravitate to it and understand it more as their allowed to utilize it in their own selfies and home videos. But will 70mm be enough to generate a boost in theater attendance? We'll certainly know when we see how many people show up for The Hateful Eight on opening day.