|Tarantino on the set of The Hateful Eight|
Fresh off of claiming that film composers are "ghetto," director Quentin Tarantino has given hint to what his next project may be. While this set-up is usually regarded in the way of his next film, it is actually in reference to his first foray into live theater. For those that have seen The Hateful Eight, it is likely that you felt that it could have been done as a stage production. Well, the good news is that once this whole awards season is over, Tarantino may very well be turning his script into theater.
The story of how The Hateful Eight went from screenplay to screen is itself a story worthy of its own film. Upon completing the script, Tarantino's writing was leaked online. He threatened to sue Gawker over it. It got so bad that he considered scrapping the project entirely. However, his professed love for the story kept it alive a little longer. Along the journey was a one night only table read for those lucky enough to get tickets. While some of that night's events feel like they made it into the film (Tarantino narrates an entire scene's actions), it is probably the reason that he is so attracted to turning it into theater. The reception was positive, and his limited locations technique compliments itself to theater very well.
During The Golden Globes ceremony, Tarantino talked to The Wrap about the future of The Hateful Eight:
"I’ve thought it out completely. I’m just waiting for this [awards] season to be over so I can write it. I gotta put myself there and write it for this. Harvey actually — he tried to talk me into doing it as a play first. He said, ‘Let’s just say this out loud before we commit to doing the movie.’ And I was like, ‘Look, I could. But I like the mystery aspect and the mystery aspect will really only work in the movie. And I have the 70mm and I have the snow. So let me do that.’"
From the sound of it, there's a good chance that even if it's the same story, there will be various things that work differently. Maybe the opening 40 minutes involving the stagecoach will play out differently. Maybe there will not be as much messy violence (though knowing him, not likely). Maybe he will play with aspects more. All that is known that if this happens, he is likely to serve as director for the project as well, thus making it just as strange and anachronistic as his movies. For a film that started off as a Django Unchained sequel, it really has taken on a life of its own.
This is great news, especially since it was one of two major films from last year that definitely felt like they'd be even better on stage (the other being Steve Jobs). The only real question is how serious is this likely to be and how soon will Tarantino unleash it onto the world. Adapting film to theater is nothing new, but it's not often that a vivacious and unique voice will tackle it with such a worthwhile script. I doubt that we'll be seeing the same actors again, but I'm sure that whomever he selects for the roles will do great work. Maybe it will even be one of the best stage shows of its respectable year.