Tag Archive | "Quentin Tarantino"

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Gawker Responds To Tarantino Lawsuit Over HATEFUL EIGHT Script

Posted on 27 January 2014 by Rich Drees

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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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Tarantino’s Upcoming Western Gets A Title And Some Hoped For Casting

Posted on 12 January 2014 by Rich Drees

DjangoTarantinoIt was late November when director Quentin Tarantino broke a nearly year-long silence about what his next project would be. Speaking on The Tonight Show to host Jay Leno, he stated that his follow-up to 2012′s Django Unchained would be another western, explaining “I had so much fun doing Django and I love westerns so much, that after I taught myself how to make one, it’s like ‘OK, now let me make another one now that I know what I’m doing.’”

Surprisingly, it has been nearly two months and we have not heard more about the film from the usually verbose director. But the folks over at Deadline have managed to hear a few murmurings that they are happy to divulge.

It seems that the title of Tarantino’s new western is The Hateful Eight. It has a definite western sound to it, recalling the classic Magnificent Seven while at the time same echoing a bit of the exploitation genre that Tarantino has been interested in exploring in his last couple of films. Plus, there’s a bit of internal rhyme to the title that I find pleasing to the ear.

Additionally, the writer/director has reportedly now finished his first draft and is showing it around to a few actors whom he is hoping to convince to star in the project. Deadline is pegging two of those actors as Christoph Waltz and Bruce Dern. Waltz’s name should come as no surprise. The German actor got his first big break with a bravura performance in Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds and the two paired again with great results with Django Unchained. If the two were content to limit the rest of their careers to just mutual collaborations, I would not be upset at all. Dern is also another interesting, but not entirely unsurprising a choice for Tarantino to make. In addition to having a small role Django, Dern was a mainstay in a number of films from the later 1960s through the 1970s, an era of film that Tarantino is a big fan of. And with Dern getting some Oscar buzz for his work in Nebraska, a role in a film from a director like Tarantino would certainly help continue the revitalization of his career.

We’re still a ways away from shooting beginning on the project. Most probably, Tarantino will do at least one more run through the script, perhaps to tailor it a bit towards any actor who expresses interest in signing on for the film. The Hollywood Reporter is quoting their own insiders that the film may get in front of cameras as early as this summer. I suppose that it will probably be sooner rather than later before we hear again about this film.

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Tarantino’s Next Film Will Be A Western

Posted on 27 November 2013 by Rich Drees

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Just earlier this week, I was thinking that we hadn’t heard much from Quentin Tarantino recently. It has been almost a year since the release of his last film, Django Unchained, and it struck me as a bit odd that we haven’t heard any news on what his next project might be.

The director broke that silence last night on NBC’s The Tonight Show while pimping the release of the graphic novel adaptation of Django Unchained. He revealed that the film he is currently writing will be another western. The video of the reveal is below, but here is the text of what he said –

I can’t talk that much about it, but I will say one thing. I haven’t told anyone about this publicly, but I will say the genre. It’s a western. It’s not a Django sequel, but it’s another Western. I had so much fun doing Django and I love westerns so much, that after I taught myself how to make one, it’s like “OK, now let me make another one now that I know what I’m doing.”

Previously, Tarantino has mentioned other projects he had been entertaining doing, such as the story of abolitionist John Brown or a sequel to his Inglorious Basterds which follows a group of black soldiers in World War Two called Killer Crow. However, this sounds more in line with a vague idea he mentioned of a western set in Australia.

Also in the interview, Tarantino touched on how his writing process has changed over the years.

It’s funny, in the last, like, five years, it’s kind of developed into something else. Before, what I would do is, normally if I had to write during the day I’d go out to a restaurant or to a bar, kinda write out in public and get the juices flowing that way. But at home I’d write at home all night long. That kind of changed around the time of Inglourious Basterds.

I started writing at home, starting at around ten in the morning, something like that, and I’d write until five or six or seven, whenever the muses leave you. That would be the work that I did for that day. Then afterwards, I’d go into my pool, and I keep my pool warm. You can take drugs, or you heat your pool — I heat my pool. I kinda soak, I do swim, I do laps, but in this case it’s more soaking. And so what I’m doing is, if I’ve just finished a scene, then I’m thinking about how I can make it better. Or if I’ve finished it, and it’s on to the next thing, then it’s on to what happens next. And I sit there and I think about it, and all these ideas come to me, dialogue, and I kinda work it out a little bit. Then I get out of the pool, and I make notes. But then I don’t do them. The next day, that’s my work.

I am intrigues by what Tarantino says about now knowing what he is doing in regards to making westerns. We’ll be following this one closely.

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Tarantino Explains Why LONE RANGER Is On His ‘Top Ten Of 2013 So Far’ List

Posted on 10 October 2013 by Rich Drees

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Over this past weekend there was a lot of head scratching when it was revealed that this past summer’s flop The Lone Ranger was on director Quentin Tarantino’s list of top his top ten films of the year so far. Was there some unique point that the director saw that made him place it on his “Best Of” list while so many others were planning on placing it on their “Worst Of” lists.

The director explained his choice to Les Inrockuptibles (via The Playlist) and it turns out it wasn’t some great or unusual insight into the film that lead to his placement of the film on his list. He just kind of liked it.

The first forty-five minutes are excellent…the next forty-five minutes are a little soporific. It was a bad idea to split the bad guys in two groups; it takes hours to explain and nobody cares. Then comes the train scene—incredible! When I saw it, I kept thinking, ‘What, that’s the film that everybody says is crap? Seriously?’

That being said, I still have a little problem with the film. I like Tonto’s backstory—the idea that his tribe got slaughtered because of him; that’s a real comic-book thing. But the slaughter of the tribe, by gunfire, from the cavalry, it left a bitter taste in my mouth. The Indians have really been victims of a genocide. So slaughtering them again in an entertaining movie, Buster Keaton style… That ruined the fun a bit for me. I simply found it…ugly. Making fun of this, when America really did it, it bothered me…That doesn’t stop it from being a good film but they could have done without that.

Before you jump to point it out, Tarantino is well aware that he himself has recently taken something ugly from American history and used it in his own film, Django Unchained.

I didn’t make Lone Ranger…that’s two different things. I did an examination of America. I tried to juggle with different things and, frankly, I think I did it better than them,” he said. “I don’t know, let’s just say that it was ugly. And violent. And boring. And it happens right in the middle of the film’s bad part, anyway. [laughs]

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Tarantino’s Top Ten Of 2013 So Far Includes Linklater, Woody Allen Films And… LONE RANGER?

Posted on 08 October 2013 by Rich Drees

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Although some may just regard director Quentin Tarantino as a defender of trashy exploitation cinema, he often displays a love for all films, from the high brow to the low. With that in mind, the reveal of his Top Ten of 2013 so far from the folks over at the Quentin Tarantino Archives is of interest and some speculation. They are, in no particular order except alphabetical -

Afternoon Delight (Jill Soloway)
Before Midnight (Richard Linklater)
Blue Jasmine (Woody Allen)
The Conjuring (James Wan)
Drinking Buddies (Joe Swanberg)
Frances Ha (Noah Baumbach)
Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón)
Kick Ass 2 (Jeff Wadlow)
The Lone Ranger (Gore Verbinski)
This Is The End (Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg)

As the list was offered with no commentary, I can not begin to imagine what Tarantino is seeing in something as roundly beat up on by the critics as The Lone Ranger was, but I am sure that the director has a unique point of view that may at least give some pause to reconsider the film.

Now of course there are probably some films that he hasn’t seen yet that would make his list. I know that I haven’t caught up with everything that Tarantino names here. If the director releases a final Top Ten list in December, it should be interesting to see what gets cut and what gets added. In the meantime, it is fodder for some interesting discussion.

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Review: KILL BILL: THE WHOLE BLOODY AFFAIR

Posted on 24 June 2013 by Rich Drees

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Quentin Taratino’s Kill Bill could very well be a distillation of his entire career. A two-part revenge story that references numerous exploitation films of the past while simultaneously raising the material to a level not normally associated with such fare. From an original screenplay that weighed in at around 190 pages, Tarantino seemed to be unwilling to cut any of it down to where it would be a comfortable two-hour film, so the decision was made to first film the entire thing and then later to split the film into two volumes to be released six months apart.

This past weekend, I had the rare privilege to view both halves of Kill Bill edited back into its original epic-length configuration. Titled Kill Bill: The Whole Bloody Affair, the print was Tarantino’s personal assemblage of both films back into one four-hour roaring rampage of revenge that the director constructed to screen at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival just months after Vol. 2 had been released to theaters. It is the only print in existence and Tarantino has only lent it two or three times in total over the last decade.

Amongst fans of Tarantino’s work, there seems to be a bit of a mystique about The Whole Bloody Affair, probably due to its unavailability. Is there much more violence? Are there scenes that were deleted from Vol 1 and Vol 2 that have been added back in? Was splitting the movie into two volumes ultimately a good or bad idea?

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To be honest, there are not many changes to be found between The Whole Bloody Affair and the individual Vol 1 and Vol 2 and many of the changes that are to be found are strictly cosmetic. Of note, though, the very first obvious change is the omission of the “Klingon proverb” from Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan about revenge being a dish best served cold that opens the film. In its place is a dedication to “Master Filmmaker” Kinji Fukasaku, who had died in January 2003 as Tarantino was in the process of post-production for the films. It is Fukasaku’s Samurai Reincarnation (1981) that Tarantino is quoting when he has Hattori Hanzao (Sonny Chiba) state in reference to the sword he has made for the Bride “If, on your journey, you should encounter god, god will be cut.” (Reportedly, this dedication was on the Japanese release of the film.)

The most obvious difference comes in the Showdown at the House Of Blue Leaves segment. Tarantino famously had to present a portion of the bloody sword battle between the Bride and the Crazy 88s in black and white as a way to placate the MPAA ratings board over the amount of blood in the scene. The Whole Bloody Affair restores the sequence to its originally-shot color, as it was seen in other territories. (There are also additional action beats that were previously unseen in the US Vol 1 edit.) Also reportedly carried over from the Japanese release are a few extra moments of gore in the animated “Chapter 3: The Origin Of O-Ren” and a quick shot of the Bride chopping off Sofie Fatale’s second arm.

The second half of the Whole Bloody Affair rightfully omits the short black-and-white introduction from Vol 2 in which we see the Bride driving and recapping the audience on the first film. Tarantino’s early draft of the screenplay placed this scene at the start of the film and he smartly repurposed it for the opening to Vol 2 once the split was made. It is interesting to note that Tarantino doesn’t restore it to its original position at the front of the film for The Whole Bloody Affair. Was it a decision that came as he was compiling the edit for Cannes or had he already decided to jettison the scene before the film was initially split and then realized that he could use after all for Vol 2?

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Perhaps the biggest structural change stemming from the film being one unit instead of two comes right at what we consider the end of Vol 1. The Showdown at the House Of Blue Leaves has concluded and the Bride has taken Sophie Fatale to the hill overlooking the Tokyo hospital and dumped her off so she could deliver her message of warning to Bill. It is at this point that the Whole Bloody Affair cuts to black and then a short intermission. However, Vol 1 continues with a short, minute-and-a-half segment that shows the Bride compiling her “Death List Five” and a few moments from Vol 2 featuring Budd and Elle Driver before the film concludes with Bill’s line “Is she aware that her daughter is still alive?” It is an emotional gut punch of a cliffhanger and gives the second volume some needed dramatic tension with the audience knowing something about her fated appointment with Bill that the Bride does not. Unfortunately, it is to the second half of the Whole Bloody Affair’s detriment that this dramatic tension is lost, as it is absence weakens a film that is already not as tightly focused as Vol 1.

Thematically, the two halves of the story are still dissimilar enough that if The Whole Bloody Affair played straight through it would still be somewhat jarring. Tarantino must have realized this as well and drops an intermission right at the break between Vol 1 and 2, though I feel that this was done more as a conceit to the Cannes audience rather than it being his original intention.

There is one unexpected upside to the two films being viewed as one, however. When taken separately, Vol 1’s opening song, Nancy Sinatra’s “Bang, Bang” and its repeated refrain “My baby shot me down,” only serves as a direct reference to Bride’s point of view that her “baby”/lover Bill has shot her down, leaving her for dead. But in the Whole Bloody Affair, the song is still strong in the audience’s mind when the Bride bursts into Bill’s Mexican hotel suite to find her child very much alive and pointing a toy gun in her direction. As little B.B. cries out “Bang! Bang!” the Bride falls to floor playing along with her baby who has shot her down, a musical foreshadowing lost in the two film version.

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Ultimately, Kill Bill: The Whole Bloody Affair is an interesting curio for a Tarantino fan to see, but it doesn’t really bring anything new to the table that couldn’t be found by importing the Japanese DVD version of Vol 1. If anything, it serves to highlight that the decision to split the project into two films was ultimately the correct one.

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Weekend Read: Sex, Screenplays, Tarantino And Zeppo

Posted on 30 March 2013 by Rich Drees

Let’s start off this edition of the Weekend Read with a question – Are audiences becoming more prudish about sex scenes in movies? That’s what is explored in Nerve’s article The Demise of the Hollywood Sex Scene. Turns out that the answer probably lies more in the simultaneous rise of the home theater and unrestricted-by-network-censorship cable series like Californication and Game Of Thrones. Stimulating reading, nonetheless.

As movies move through development they often pass through the hands of a number of writers, each trying to contribute whatever the developing producer or director want in the screenplay. But not every writer who contributes something to a script gets their name on the final product. The process of determining who does get final screen credit (and the years’ worth of residuals that accompany a screen credit) is administered by the Writers Guild of America. As I discovered when researching something once, the WGA does not publicly comment on the arbitration process. But Die Hard 2 and Bad Boys writer Doug Richardson gives us a peek behind-the-scenes at the nasty fight over how the credits were determined for his 2005 Hostage, which he had adapted from a novel by Robert Crais, turned out to be. (And check out the rest of Richardson’s blog for more strange-but-true stories from the trenches of Hollywood.)

But not all stories involving novel writers and film adaptations of their work are as contentious. In fact, sometimes authors are thrilled with the final product, especially with whatever star is chosen to play their favorite character. The Atlantic talked to several big name novelists about the big screen adaptations they are most happy with.

One of the directors in the Atlantic article who delivered what a novelist thought was a faithful adaptation of his work despite a number of changes, was Quentin Tarantino with his translation of Elmore Leonard’s crime novel Rum Punch into Jackie Brown. It just so happens that this past week saw the iconic director’s 50th birthday, for which London’s The Guardian compiled this list of five reasons to be thankful for from the director’s career.

We end this week’s installment with an appreciation of the sometimes forgotten Marx Brother Zeppo, and how he sartorially influenced one young actor by the name of Archibald Leach, though you may know him as Cary Grant.

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Tarantino To Cameo In Enzo Castellari’s Latest Spaghetti Western

Posted on 18 February 2013 by Rich Drees

DjangoTarantinoDirector Quentin Tarantino will be making a cameo appearance in Italian director Enzo G. Castellari’s upcoming spaghetti western Badlands. The director has told Italian journalists (via Hollywood Reporter) that he has set aside a small role for Tarantino and Franco Nero, the actor who starred in the iconic 1966 spaghetti western Django.

Castellari stated that the role was a thank you for helping to revive interest in the spaghetti western genre with his recent blockbuster Django Unchained.

Nero previously starred in Castellari’s 1976 western Keoma.

Among the many films on Castellari’s resume is The Inglorious Bastards, the 1978 World War Two men-on-a-mission film that was one of the inspirations for Tarantino’s film of the same name.

Although he took a few acting roles in the first few years of fame after the release of Pulp Fiction, Tarantino has restricted his acting to appearances in hisonly a few movies, including 2007′s Sukiyaki Western Django, a spaghetti western filtered through the sensibilities of Japanese genre director Takashi Miike.

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