The Ninjabot

THE HATEFUL EIGHT Comic-Con Panel Recap

Posted on July 11, 2015 at 6:37 pm by David "Snackbar" Edmundson

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The fact that The Hateful Eight, Quentin Tarantino’s hugely anticipated second Western, is even coming out is a bit of a miracle. Most people know about the controversy surrounding the leaked script, which nearly rendered the project unfilmable in Tarantino’s eyes, but thankfully, the iconoclast filmmaker decided to go ahead with the project. And after seeing the limited footage that was screened at Hall H, I’m ecstatic that the Django Unchained-helming madman went ahead with the film, as it similarly recalls a detailed, glowing view of a genre that has gone largely untouched, save a major masterwork like Unforgiven. Regardless, Tarantino and the cast that was on-hand for the panel, which included Kurt Russell, Tim Roth, Walton Goggins, Demian Bichir, Bruce Dern, Michael Madsen, and Jennifer Jason Leigh, seemed revved-up and excited while discussing the working process of making the film, the writing of the script, getting into character, and all that went into what will likely prove to be one of the most remarkable films of 2015.

Panel Highlights

  • the-hateful-eight-kurt-russell-samuel-l-jackson-600x400Tarantino announced that Ennio Morricone will be doing the score for The Hateful Eight, the famed composer’s first Western score in 40 years. The composer is recording the score in Prague.
  • Tarantino began by talking about his intimate history with Comic-Con, recalling days when he came to the convention to collect Jack Davis artwork and vintage movie posters. He also says he enjoys walking around the floor in a lucha libre mask.
  • Speaking again about the lenses used, Tarantino said that the major worry was that they would freeze, but that he counted on a hugely supportive crew to test, and test, and test these lenses over a series of conditions.
  • Predictably, Tarantino took some time to offer his ire towards digital filming, saying that we “conceded too much ground” to digital purveyors.
  • On the viability of shooting on 65 mm for a 70mm release, Tarantino said “ “If I shoot in 70, they’ll have to release it in 70.”
  • In response to harangues about the fixed location and how he would use the lenses and format for a small set, Tarantino insisted that it could make the film “more intimate” and that 70 mm isn’t “just for travelogues.”
  • The entire cast could not stop gushing about Tarantino, with Dern opining that his only real competition in the realm of attention to detail is the great Italian master Luchino Visconti.

Footage

the-hateful-eight-samuel-l-jackson-600x404Moderator Chris Hardwick opened the panel by introducing a short but informative piece about the history of the “road show” release of films, as well as a history of Ultra Panavision and the use of 70mm. As the short’s narrator, Samuel L. Jackson pointed out, Khartoum was the last film shot in Ultra Panavision, whereas the most famed Ultra Panavision shot would be the horse race in Ben-Hur. There were plenty of quick glances of Tarantino and DP Robert Richardson shooting scenes from the film, and Tarantino was effusive about the freedom that this specific format gave him. At one point, it was clear that seeing the horse race from Ben-Hur made Tarantino want to shoot the film in the format

Quickly following this short, Tarantino debuted a special 7-minute trailer for the film, edited by the filmmaker and Fred Raskin. It opened with a rather clear homage to John Carpenter’s classic The Thing, and the references to the hugely influential horror film continued, especially when Russell’s John Ruth reiterated “someone here’s not who they seem.” The trailer opens with Jackson’s Major Marquis Warren sitting on a pile of bodies and luggage, with Ruth’s carriage trotting up to him. Beyond The Thing, the other clear reference was to the mountain settings used so often by Western master Anthony Mann, but the cramped environs of Bichir’s Bob’s saloon was distinctly Tarantino.

As for the beats of the story, Russell’s character is hauling in Leigh’s Daisy Domergue to be hung; Jackson’s character has a great bit of dialogue about how Ruth always hands his bounties into the law so they can be hung. There was also a lot of gorgeous diatribes from Roth’s Oswaldo Mobray. Much of the extended trailer was set distinctly in the saloon, and you can tell that Tarantino got use out of every nook and cranny of the set. We also got our first look at Madsen’s mysterious Joe Gage, Goggins’ Mannix, an old friend of Ruth’s, and Dern’s supremely racist General Sandy Smithers, and it’s worth noting that the film would seem to touch on matters of racism, the pitfalls of American history, and the death penalty. That’s all, folks, until Christmas Day, when Tarantino’s road show version of the film will see release in 70mm.

Audience Q&A

  • the-hateful-eight-walton-goggins-600x400On the leak of the script, Tarantino pointed out that he usually only has one finished version of a script but that, in this case, he wanted to do 3 drafts and that the leak came after the first one. “I shot the third draft” the director added.
  • On the possibility of a third Kill Bill movie, Tarantino intimated that it was a definite possibility and that Uma Thurman was definitely up for another round as The Bride.
  • In response to a question about his last two movies being Westerns, Tarantino said he definitely was making one more, saying you have to “make three Westerns to be a Western director.”
  • When discussing Bichir’s role, Tarantino revealed that the character was originally written as a Frenchman but that he changed it. He added that the casting of Bichir was from a recommendation from Robert Rodriguez, who effusively praised Bichir’s work in Machete Kills.
  • Discussing his recent comments about only making 10 movies, Tarantino said that the comment wasn’t a fixed statement and that he was more attempting to have a “public conversation on artist’s validity. He said that digital filmmaking was just like putting HBO in theaters. “If I can’t make a film on film, I might stop” he said, before admitting that he is open to the idea of doing mini-series.
  • While discussing getting into character, Russell admitted that it was tough but that he eventually was able to connect the character to six or so of his previous characters. He also took time out to say how much he loved working on John Carpenter’s take on Elvis Presley, in which he starred as the King of Rock.
  • Tarantino ended by admitting that his favorite speech he wrote was The Sicilian speech in True Romance, but that it was eventually overtaken by the French farmhouse opener of Inglorious Basterds.

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