Tag Archive | "Quentin Tarantino"

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Channing Tatum Considering Role In Tarantino’s HATEFUL EIGHT

Posted on 05 November 2014 by Rich Drees

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Channing Tatum may be heading out west.

Deadline is reporting that the Magic Mike star is eyeing an unspecified role in Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming western The Hateful Eight. If he and Tarantino reach a consensus about his appearance in the project, Channing would join Samuel L Jackson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern, Kurt Russell and Tim Roth when filming begins early next year.

Famously, this latest film from the Pulp fiction writer/director almost never came to pass after he stated he would shelve the project following a leak of his first draft screenplay last January. He later changed his mind after a staged reading of a revised draft.

When production starts, Tarantino will be shooting on 65mm film with an eye towards having the largest 70mm release in over 20 years.

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Is KILL BILL: THE WHOLE BLOODY AFFAIR Finally Getting A Release?

Posted on 30 July 2014 by Rich Drees

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Quentin Tarantino’s two film opus Kill Bill was original conceived as one epic-length film before he split them into two separate volumes. But the writer/director has never fully abandoned the idea of the project as one larger whole, and shortly after Kill Bill Volume 2 premiered in theaters he screened a version of the films he titled Kill Bill: The Whole Bloody Affair, which combined the two parts into one, at Cannes. Since then, the print has been screened a few select times, but a majority of Tarantino fans have not the opportunity to view the two films fused back into their original configuration.

While at San Diego Comic Con this past weekend (via Collider), Tarantino once again addressed the chances of The Whole Bloody Affair being made available to a wider audience and he stated that it could be coming to theaters within a year.

What’s going on with that is originally back when Kill Bill was going to be one movie, I wrote an even longer anime sequence. So you see in the movie [O-Ren] kill her boss but then there was that long hair guy… The big sequence was her fighting that guy. I.G. [The Japanese Anime Studio] who did Ghost in the Shell said we can’t do that and finish it in time for your thing. And [plus] you can’t have a thirty-minute piece in your movie. I said okay. It was my favorite part but it was the part you could drop. So we dropped it and then later when I.G. heard we were talking about doing Kill Bill: The Whole Bloody Affair — they still had the script so without even being commissioned, they just did it and paid for it themselves. It’s really terrific. Anyway, The Weinstein Company and myself were talking about actually coming out with it sometime, not before the year is out, but within the next year with limited theatrical engagement as well.

Last summer, I had the chance to attend a rare screening of Tarantino’s personal print of The Whole Bloody Affair which he had assembled for screening at Cannes. As I noted in my review, the tonal difference between the two halves is really apparent, and somewhat jarring, when viewed consecutively. Also, Tarantino looses Volume 1’s gut-punch, cliffhanger line of dialogue – “Does she know her child is still alive?” – and that robs the second half of much of the dramatic tension that the line gives to Volume 2.

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HISTORY OF COMIC BOOK FILMS: The Rise And Fall Of Frank Miller

Posted on 04 July 2014 by William Gatevackes

In a multi-part series, Comic Book Film Editor William Gatevackes will be tracing the history of comic book movies from the earliest days of the film serials to today’s big blockbusters and beyond. Along with the history lesson, Bill will be covering some of the most prominent comic book films over the years and why they were so special. This time, we cover the meteoric rise, and the controversial fall of the legendary Frank Miller.

Lionsgate Presents "The Spirit" Screening In New YorkYou can engage in a healthy debate as to what was high point of Frank Miller’s career. Some might say it was when he took over the writing chores on Daredevil in 1980, because that set up the legendary run that paved the way for everything else. Others might say that it was 1986, when his masterpiece, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, was released. A few might say it was in 1991 when he created Sin City, the creator-owned property that caught Hollywood’s eye.

Personally, I am leaning towards 2007. He was coming off two successful adaptations of his original properties and was tapped to do the unheard of–to write and direct a film adaptation of a comic created by one of his idols. However, this date is problematic because his artistic decline in the world of comics had started years earlier.

Frank_Miller youngYou can call Frank Miller’s rise in comic books meteoric. Yes, he got his start as many creator is the late 1970s did–doing art in anthologies and fill-in stories to help regular artists out. But while many creators languished in this freelancer hell for years before getting steady work, Miller was hired as the regular artist on Daredevil with issue #158 in under a year. Granted, when Miller joined the title, it was practically on life support. It was one of Marvel’s lowest selling titles, and was moved to a one every two months shipping schedule.

The book was flirting with cancellation when Miller to over the writing duties on the title to go along with his art chores starting with issue #168 under a year later. Odds are that if the book wasn’t in such rough shape, he might not have received this unprecedented chance. But he did, and he became a superstar over it.

Daredevil 168Miller turned a character that was essentially a poor-man’s Spider-Man, only with a negligible handicap (blindness, more than over compensated by a radar sense) and a less impressive rogue’s gallery, into something special. Miller turned the book in to a crime noir fable with Asian overtones. The character spent as much time fighting ninjas as he did crime bosses. But the stories Miller created fit his cinematic art style and lifted the character to a place in prominence. Without Miller, Daredevil would never have been made into a film, and most likely be a curiosity lining the dustbin of Marvel’s once popular characters.

After completing his run on Daredevil, Miller moved on to DC Comics and one of their most famous characters, Batman. His Batman: The Dark Night Returns featured an older, retired crime fighter who feels compelled to put the cape and cowl back on as the world slips into lawless anarchy.

If Miller’s take on Daredevil was comic book film noir, then his take on Batman was comic book film noir on steroids. And acid. With a little crystal meth thrown in for good measure. It was a shockingly daring deconstruction of the sacred DC institution, one that could not happen in the Intellectual Property focused world of today.

1-1The series was incredible influential. Along with Watchmen, it inspired a “grim and gritty” trend in comics, got a lot of attention in the mainstream press and inspired the cinematic versions of Batman that followed in its wake. If Daredevil made Frank Miller a superstar, Dark Knight Returns made him a legend–both in and out of comic books.

Miller used his newfound status and power to the fullest advantage. He first stepped his toes in the Hollywood pond by doing the screenplays to RoboCop 2 and RoboCop 3 in the 1990s, although that experience left a bad taste in Miller’s mouth.  That decade was also when Miller moved on to creator-owned fare.

Miller used Dark Horse Comics as the publisher of his original creations, and his first offerings were the thoughtful, if uber-violent Hard Boiled (which he did with Geoff Darrow art) and Give Me Liberty (which he did with Dave Gibbons on art). His third effort, which he did art as well writing on, was the one we’re talking about today.

Dark_Horse_Presents_Vol_1_51Sin City first appeared in serialized form in Dark Horse Presents #51, and showed what Miller could do with his noir stylings when not hampered by working on another company’s characters. Printed in black and white, which help accentuate Miller’s art work and his use of shadow and shading. Sin City told the story of Basin City, a corrupt and morally bankrupt town where even the good guys have a little bit of dirt on them and the women are as tough as they are beautiful. It’s a town where cops are easily bought, the prostitutes take care of themselves, and crossing the wrong people will inevitably lead to your death.

This was an example of world-building at its finest. It was a fun house mirror reflection of the graft and crime that plague American cities, with an element of the fantastic to it as well. Sin City eventually became a blanket heading for all the crime noir Frank Miller wanted to write. It was home to a number of different stories, and often times a supporting character in one story arc would become the lead in the next, and someone who appears in the background would prove to be very important later on down the line.

The series caught the attention of director Robert Rodriguez, who desperately wanted to make a film of the graphic novel. However, Miller, who was burned by Hollywood before, was reluctant to let his baby be fed to the Tinseltown Wolves. Rodriguez was insistent, and created a short film with his own money from one of Miller’s Sin City tales to show that he was going to be respectful to the original text. The short film became “The Customer Is Always Right,”  which became the opening segment of 2005’s Sin City. Yes, Rodriguez’s passion and dedication one Miller over, but I’m sure the offer of co-directorship helped too.

sin city posterThe test footage also got Rodriguez an awesome, all-star cast, including Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Clive Owen, Rosario Dawson, Benicio Del Toro, Michael Clarke Duncan, and many, many more. It would be hard not to make a great film with the cast that Rodriguez had, and a great film he did make.

The film looked like Basin City was magically transported from the page and pasted to the screen. It was one of the first use of extensive green screen technology, and this helped Rodriguez create a visually stunning, realistic yet ethereal world for the movie to take place in. The film was co-directed by Miller and Rodriguez, with Quentin Tarantino on board directing one scene. The result was a film that looked quite unlike any other film ever made, and one of the most faithful comic book adaptations of all time.

The film made over $158 million worldwide at the box office against a $45 million budget. It seemed audiences were responsive to films that did a shot-by-shot, green screen backlot adaptation of Frank Miller’s graphic novels. This was good news the the producers of 300.

3001The film was based on Frank Miller’s 1998 miniseries retelling the historic Battle of Thermopylae from 480 B.C., where a small group of  Greek soldiers were able to hold off the vastly superior forces of the invading Persian army for three days during the second Persian invasion of Greece. The battle has been inspiration for or referenced in numerous poems, novels and movies over the centuries. Miller himself has often referenced the battle in Sin City so his choosing to build a whole graphic novel around it is not surprising. 

From an artistic standpoint, it was one of Miller’s best works. The story was presented in nothing but double-paged spreads–where the graphics are designed to spill out over two comic book pages and, unlike Sin City this one was masterly colored by Miller’s then paramour and go-to colorist, Lynn Varley.

However, critics were quick to point out the historical inaccuracies in the work (Alan Moore even famously quipped “You know, I mean, read a book, Frank.”) and made issue with certain homophobic statements by the characters.

300-posterThese criticisms did not stop filmmakers from wanting to adapt Miller’s version of the battle, especially Zack Snyder, who long wanted to helm the adaptation of the graphic novel. He would eventually get his chance when he was hired in 2004 to bring the comic to the screen. Snyder and Miller’s version beat  another movie about the battle that was spearheaded by director Michael Mann into theaters. Mann’s version has yet to come to fruition.

The film was shot almost completely on a sound stage in front of blue screens.   Snyder used the comic as a story board, with numerous scenes captured on screen almost exactly as they appeared in the comic book. It wasn’t an exact translation, however. Snyder did add scenes back in Sparta to flesh out the story more.

Snyder capture the grandeur and grittiness of the comic book. His film is incredibly stylized, and his “stop/go” slow motion technique employed here briefly became his trademark. Snyder definitely grabs your attention.

The film, like the comic before it, also spawned controversy. In addition to the questions of historical accuracy and homophobia, critics singled out what they thought was a fascist agenda, a negative portrayal of people disabilities and Iran was none too pleased with how the Persians were seen in the movie. However, none of this stopped the film from becoming a hit. The film made more than it’s $65 million budget in its opening weekend in America alone, going on to a worldwide gross of over $456 million. It jump started the careers of Gerard Butler and Michael Fassbender and made Snyder a go-to director for comic book epics. It also spawned a sequel.

300RiseOfAnEmpireMondo300: Rise of An Empire was supposed to be based on a graphic novel by Frank Miller called Xerxes, named for the Persian leader. Only one problem, Frank Miller never got around to writing that sequel to 300, so producers had to come up with a sequel on their own.

Also missing were Butler and Fassbender (except in a flashback to the first film) and Zack Snyder handed the directorial reins over to Noam Murro, but still keeping a hand in writing and producing the film. The sequel acts as a counterpoint to 300, focusing on events that happened before and during that film as well as after. The main crux of the story is the battle of Salamis, a naval battle that set the stage for the Greeks finally repelling the Persian invasion. Sullivan Stapleton take over the lead as Themistocles of Athens.

You couldn’t help but feel that something was missing because, well, a lot WAS missing. But, nonetheless, even though it failed to earn back its $110 million budget in its US release earlier this year (earning just over $106 million), it tripled its budget worldwide with over $331 million in grosses.  No word if another sequel will be wrung from the Second Invasion of Greece.

After the one-two punch of Sin City and 300, Frank Miller was Hollywood’s darling. They weren’t sure what it was about him that resonated with audiences, but they knew it was something. So even though he had only a handful of screenwriting credits to his name and only one co-directorship under his belt, producers hired Miller in 2006 after the success of Sin City to write and direct the long-in-development The Spirit. The success of 300 made them feel much better about their decision

They really should have done their due diligence, because Miller’s comic book work at the time would have told them exactly what they were getting into.

220px-DarkKnightStrikesAgain1From 2000 on, Miller’s comic book work has been a case of diminishing returns. It all started with the ill-advised The Dark Knight Strikes Again, a sequel to The Dark Knight Returns. Instead of a tersely plotted examination of the mythos behind the heroes of the DC Universe that marked the original, one that balanced grim and gritty realism with a finely tuned sense of the outrageous, what the sequel delivered was Miller’s tone deaf characterization and a book where the outrageous and cartoon-like chased and sense of realism out the window. It was a sloppy presentation, and one that tarnished the original masterpiece it followed.

Miller wasn’t done with Batman yet. In 2005, he paired with superstar artist Jim Lee on All-Star Batman and Robin. I reviewed the first three issues here, and my opinion of how awful it was has not improved since that review was published. Once again, Miller loses the hold he had on Batman’s characterization, only this time he makes him a petulant and whiny child abuser who might just be clinically insane. The story went absolutely nowhere over the ten issues that were published, a fact not helped by the title’s chronic lateness (three years to publish ten issues). The series has been on “hiatus” since 2008, and it’s telling that no one has been clamoring for it to be completed.

Holy_Terror_coverMiller’s third attempt at doing a Batman story for DC is the one that sounded bad from the get go. Holy Terror, Batman! was Miller’s commentary on the War on Terror, using Batman as a surrogate, sending him after Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda. Eventually, according to Miller, he removed the project from DC Comics because he decided it went too far for Batman. I’m sure DC didn’t mind it leaving. So Miller took the cape off of Batman, gave him some guns and took the novel to Legendary Comics. The result, renamed Holy Terror, is a jingoistic screed filtered through Miller’s extreme right-wing views (he made the papers for his condemnation of the Occupy movement in 2011) that was as inflammatory as it was poorly written.

Miller, in interviews at the time, came off as a man who believed his own hype a little bit too much. Everyone called him a genius, so he was one. And everything he touches is automatically perfect because of this, no matter how poorly written it is. Unfortunately, this attitude was encouraged. His Martha Washington Dies, the coda to his Give me Liberty series, featured 17 pages of an elderly woman talking to a group of undefined soldiers on a battlefield, about to fight in an undefined war. After she is done talking, she dies. If a novice writer submitted this to a comic book company, the editor would put his name on a dry erase board marked ” Never Hire This Person.” Since it’s Frank Miller, they slap a glossy cover on it, charge $3.50 for it, as shill it to the fans.

But this was in the field of comics, where he paid his dues and made his legend. Certainly his attention to quality would be sharper in his feature film debut? Unfortunately not.

the-spirit-posterThe Spirit was a tough character to bring to the screen. Will Eisner created a character that could move freely from crime noir to whimsy to adventure. It was a tone that filmmakers from William Freidkin to Brad Bird couldn’t bring it to the big screen in a way that would please the studios. It seemed like that they would never find a creator who got the character and could capture its essence.

However, they thought they found one in Frank Miller. Miller was a friend and follower of Eisner (he was actually offered the job directing The Spirit at Eisner’s funeral). If he couldn’t bring the character to the big screen and do it justice, no one could.

Well, apparently, no one could.

Frank Miller’s The Spirit was relentlessly awful. It was aggressively awful. And not in a “so-bad-it’s-good” way either. It was bad in a “so-bad-why-am-I-watching-this” way.

For a man who was so protective of his own comic work, Miller certainly didn’t have any qualms about messing with Eisner’s most famous characters. Eisner’s Spirit was a charming man with a winning personality. Miller’s Spirit was was a bland cypher whose only flash of personality came when he spewed Sin City-esque doggerel. Eisner kept the Spirit’s nemesis, The Octopus, hidden to increase his mystery and allure. Miller put the Octopus front and center on screen, cast Samuel L. Jackson in the role and apparently only gave him one direction-chew as much scenery as possible. Jackson is probably still picking splinters from his teeth today.

Eisner’s women were legendary. They were sultry and seductive and you totally believe that the Spirit was tempted to join them on the dark side. Miller’s decided to put most of Eisner’s femme fatales in the movie, cast some of the most beautiful in the world, and makes each of them as exciting as expired toothpaste.  Eisner’s stories were filled with gentle wit and humor. Miller’s humor was crass, crude and campy. While Rodriguez and Snyder used the green screen to create a rich and fully realized world, Miller used the same technology to create a murky and muddled mess that looked like some one spilled a big pot of India ink over it.

In other words, The Spirit was a failure on every single level. Miller’s inexperience showed through, yet so did his arrogance. He thought he was creating art. What puzzles me is how it went through without anyone saying how horrible it was.

Miller has not made a comic book since Holy Terror, but he will have a chance to redeem himself cinematically as he reteams with Robert Rodriguez next month as the Sin City: A Dame to Kill For hits theaters.

Frank_Millers_Sin_City _A_Dame_to_Kill_For_17The film adapts two of Miller’s stories from the comics in addition to, and this is the worrisome part by Miller, two original stories written directly for the screen. A lot of the original cast returns, including Rosario Dawson, Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, and Mickey Rourke, joined by newcomers such as Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Eva Green and Lady Gaga.

Perhaps going back to Basin City will be the best thing for Miller. Perhaps it will mean a return to quality for the legend. However, it will take a lot to over come the damage Miller has done to his legacy. This might not be enough.

Next time: Ghost Rider.

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Tarantino Prepping To Shoot HATEFUL EIGHT, Cast Announced

Posted on 27 May 2014 by Rich Drees

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Now that he has, in his own words, “calmed down” from the leak of the first draft of his screenplay The Hateful Eight, Quentin Tarantino has decided to go ahead and shoot the western after all. Showbiz 411 is reporting that the writer/director is prepping to shoot the film this coming November in Wyoming.

Joining Tarantino on the project will be the complete cast of actors who participated in a stage reading of the screenplay last month – Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Dern, Michael Madsen, Kurt Russell, James Remar, Amber Tamblyn, Walt Goggins, and Zoe Bell.

It was at that reading that we got the first inkling that Tarantino had not given up on the project that he previously stated he was shelving after the screenplay first leaked at the beginning of the year. It was at that event that he stated he was working on a second draft of the screenplay and would probably be taking a third run through it as well.

Tarantino’s lawsuit against Gawker Media for posting a link to the where the screenplay had been uploaded was thrown out of court earlier this month after his legal team legal team had not supplied any evidence that anyone actually clicked on the link in the article and went on to download a copy of the script from that independent website. The judge decreed that since they hadn’t proven that there was no proof that any actual infringement had taken place.

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Tarantino Drops HATEFUL EIGHT Lawsuit

Posted on 08 May 2014 by Rich Drees

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Writer/director Quentin Tarantino has dropped his lawsuit against Gawker Media over their publishing a link to an independent website that had posted a copy of the first draft screenplay for his planned film The Hateful Eight.

The move comes after the federal judge in the case stated on April 23 that he would dismiss the case if Tarantino and his legal team could not provide any more concrete example of copyright abuse that resulted from the Defamer article. Tarantino had until May 1st to amend his complaint. Although he did file an amendment on the deadline, he has now decided to drop the matter altogether.

Tarantino announced he was suing Gawker Media back in January after Defamer reported on the leak of the Hateful Eight screenplay with the sensationalistic headline “Here Is the Leaked Quentin Tarantino ‘Hateful Eight’ Script.” The script first leaked after the writer/director showed it to a small circle of actors he was thinking about casting, soliciting their feedback. That the script had spread beyond that small coterie quickly became the story of the day after Deadline broke the news on January 21.

So what happens now? By Tarantino’s own admission he has been working on a new draft of the screenplay, which certainly suggests that he is thinking about making the film after all. We’ll see.

Via Deadline.

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Judge Dismisses Tarantino’s HATEFUL EIGHT Infringement Suit Against Gawker

Posted on 26 April 2014 by Rich Drees

Quentin Tarantino

A federal judge has agreed to dismiss a lawsuit brought by writer/director Quentin Tarantino against Gawker Media after it published a link to an independent website that had posted a copy of the first draft screenplay for his planned film The Hateful Eight.

John F. Walter of Federal District Court in Los Angeles, ruled Wednesday that Tarantino and his legal crew did not offer any concrete example of copyright abuse that resulted from the Defamer article and therefore had no basis for their claim. In his ruling, Judge Walter stated –

Plaintiff [Tarantino] merely speculates that some direct infringement must have taken place… For example, Plaintiff’s Complaint fails to allege the identity of a single third-party infringer, the date, the time, or the details of a single instance of third-party infringement, or, more importantly, how Defendant [Gawker Media] allegedly caused, induced, or materially contributed to the infringement by those third parties.

Essentially, since Tarantino’s legal team has not supplied any evidence that anyone actually clicked on the link in the Defamer article and that same person went on to download a copy of the script from that independent website, there was no proof that any actual infringement had taken place.

Unfortunately, this does seem to keep the legal status of a link to copyright material being an infringement itself still uncertain. If it were determined that just a link to something infringing counts as infringement itself, it would open up a legal quagmire that could engulf numerous websites including outlets like Google to repercussions that would seriously damage the nature of the internet as it is now.

The judge did gave Tarantino a May 1st deadline to amend their complaint with more evidence to support their claim or else he would complete the dismissal of the case.

Tarantino announced he was suing Gawker Media back in January after Defamer reported on the leak of the Hateful Eight screenplay with the sensationalistic headline “Here Is the Leaked Quentin Tarantino ‘Hateful Eight’ Script.” The script first leaked after the writer/director showed it to a small circle of actors he was thinking about casting, soliciting their feedback. That the script had spread beyond that small coterie quickly became the story of the day after Deadline broke the news on January 21.

Honestly, I would not be surprised if Tarantino didn’t see this coming. He openly admitted last weekend that he was working on rewrites of the script, an odd thing to be doing if one has decided to shelve a project. It remains to be seen if Tarantino and his lawyers will file an amendment by the deadline next week.

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Tarantino May Not Be Finished With THE HATEFUL EIGHT After All

Posted on 21 April 2014 by Rich Drees

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Staged readings of screenplays have become a growing trend in Hollywood, and this weekend may have seen the biggest one yet as writer/director Quentin Tarantino presented a reading of his most recent screenplay The Hateful Eight, which he famously announced in January he would not turn into a film due to it leaking online after he had only shared it with a small circle of select few actors and their agents. Even at $200 a seat, the event was definitely one of the hottest tickets in town, but what was even hotter was the news that the project might not be as dead as previously thought.

During his introduction to the event Tarantino stated that while his cast – which included Tarantino vets such as Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Tim Roth, James Parks, Michael Madsen and Zoe Bell – would be working from that leaked first draft, he has since done some additional work to it.

I’m working on a second draft and I will do a third draft, but we’re reading from the first draft… The Chapter 5 here will not be the Chapter 5 later, so this will be the only time it is seen ever.

It certainly sounds from what he is saying here that he has changed his mind on totally shelving the script and moving on to another project. One certainly doesn’t plan further rewrites to a project that has been abandoned. And it should be noted that Tarantino excising one whole section of a screenplay to replace it with another is nothing new to the writer. He famously removed one whole sequence, and a character featured prominently in it, from his initial draft of his revenge epic Kill Bill, replacing it with a different set piece.

Of course, Tarantino is currently suing Gawker over the fact that in their reportage on the script leak the website linked to a site where the script could be found. How this legal drama will play and impact Tarantino’s efforts or continued desire to get the project in front of cameras remains to be seen.

Via Deadline.

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Gawker Responds To Tarantino Lawsuit Over HATEFUL EIGHT Script

Posted on 27 January 2014 by Rich Drees

Quentin Tarantino

Earlier today it was revealed that writer/director Quentin Tarantino was suing online gossip site Gawker over the fact that in their reporting about Tarantino’s shelving of the screenplay for his planned western The Hateful Eight contained a link to an anonymous posting of said script. The website has published a response today, one which I find does not bolster any defense of their actions that they hoped to make.

Gawker writer John Cook defended the site’s original posting by arguing that they have done nothing that Tarantino wouldn’t have wanted done anyway.

Last week—before the publication of the script online but after it had begun circulating in Hollywood—Tarantino loudly turned The Hateful Eight leak into a topic of intense news interest by speaking about it at length to Deadline Hollywood, which had itself obtained a copy. Tarantino’s very public complaints about the leak—which named the six parties (of varying degrees of celebrity and potential culpability) that he believes had access to it—were picked up and amplified afterward by dozens of news sites, including Defamer. It was Tarantino himself who turned his script into a news story, one that garnered him a great deal of attention.

Quentin Tarantino wanted The Hateful Eight to be published on the internet. This is what he told Deadline, in the course of complaining about the then-small-scale leak to some unknown number of reporters and Hollywood types: 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.

Unfortunately, I think Cook has two key points wrong. The first is pointed out by Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr, who broke the initial story, who flatly denies having a copy of the script before he interviewed Tarantino or receiving one since.

The second point, that Tarantino wanted the script online, is taking a quote of the director’s out of context. Tarantino was talking about the final drafts of his screenplays that get leaked just prior to the start of production. Perhaps Tarantino permits such leaks and the resultant discussion because it begins generating interest in that project. But this was a first draft being shopped around to just a few select actors to gain their feedback. Presumably there would be at least one more draft from Tarantino based on the feedback he got from the actors he showed to in order to tailor the part to them. It was certainly not a document that Tarantino was ready to have out in the wild yet.

This is definitely shaping into a lawsuit that could have some far-ranging repercussions. Is the act of posting a link to copyright material a violation in itself, or does there have to be malicious intent involved? We’ll be interested in seeing how this plays out.

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Tarantino Suing Gawker Over Posting Link To Leaked HATEFUL EIGHT Script

Posted on 27 January 2014 by Rich Drees

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If you didn’t believe that Quentin Tarantino was upset about the leaking of the screenplay for his planned western The Hateful Eight, this might change your mind. Deadline is reporting that the director has filed suit against the website Gawker for publishing a link to an online posting of the script. Tarantino announced last week that he was shelving the project after the screenplay was allegedly leaked by one of a small number of people who had access to it.

According to the filing with U.S. District Court, Central District Of California Western Division –

Gawker Media has made a business of predatory journalism, violating people’s right to make a buck. This time they’ve gone too far. Rather than merely publishing a news story reporting that Plaintiff’s screenplay may have been circulating in Hollywood without his permission, Gawker Media crossed the journalistic line by promoting itself to the public as the first source to read the entire screenplay illegally. Their headline boasts, ‘Here is the leaked Quentin Tarantino Hateful Eight Script’—here, not someplace else, but ‘here’ on the Gawker website. The article then contains multiple direct links for downloading the entire screenplay through a conveniently anonymous URL by simply clicking button-links on the Gawker page, and brazenly encourages Gawker visitors to read the screenplay illegally with an invitation to `enjoy’ it. There was nothing newsworthy or journalistic about Gawker Media facilitating and encouraging the public’s violation of Plaintiff’s copyright in the screenplay, and its conduct will not shield Gawker Media from liability for their unlawful activity.

The complaint goes on to state that Gawker declined a request from Tarantino’s camp to either take down the complete post or remove the links from the article. As I write this, the Gawker article continues to remain unaltered, but a post at Bad Ass Digest, which used an image of the first page of the screenplay to illustrate that Tarantino intended to shoot the film with 70mm cameras has been altered to remove that image at “lawerly request.” Interestingly, one of the two links that Gawker provided is still active.

It should be noted that no legal action has been forthcoming for whomever originally leaked the screenplay. This story is still playing out I think.

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Tarantino Shelving HATEFUL EIGHT After Script Leaks

Posted on 21 January 2014 by Rich Drees

DjangoTarantinoIf you were looking forward to Quentin Tarantino’s next project, the western The Hateful Eight, then we have some bad news for you. The director is shelving the project after the screenplay was leaked by someone connected to the small number of people he had shared it with.

Speaking with Deadline, Tarantino explained that he decided to cancel the project today after his agent started getting calls from other agents pitching their clients for roles in the film. Roles they couldn’t have known about if it weren’t for an unauthorized leak of the screenplay.

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.

Sounding rather upset, Tarantino was not afraid to name names.

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.

Deadline’s Mike Fleming spoke to sources at CAA the agency that reps Dern, and they claimed that they were not the source of the leak. Of course, that could just be some industrial strength ass-covering going on.

This is not the first time that a Tarantino screenplay has gotten out into the wild. Both Inglorious Basterds and Django Unchained made the rounds as the director was getting ready to shoot those films. And they quickly found their ways into the hands of a number of internet film writers. Tarantino doesn’t try and say that he was upset that those screenplays leaked, but he did admit that he preferred the timing of when those were made public.

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!

Tarantino is not closing the door entirely on the possibility of making the film, but it will be a while before he can move past the feelings of betrayal in order to do so. In the meantime, he is looking at getting the screenplay published and then moving on to a new project.

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.

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