Betrayal Halts The Progress Of Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight


What happens when you betray Quentin Tarantino by leaking his script? You get called out in the press by the man himself.

When the legendary writer/director recently finished the first draft of the script for The Hateful Eight – an ensemble western – he very carefully placed it in the hands of six people, in confidence. In a twist filled with enough intrigue and betrayal to fill a script of its own, he discovered that someone had broken the circle of trust when his agent, Mike Simpson, became inundated with calls from other agents, pitching their own clients for roles in the film. Upset, it seems Tarantino picked up the phone to Deadline.

“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.”

Explaining what happened, Tarantino stated how he has chosen to respond. Now that Hollywood has got itself excited over a script that leaked too early, they can’t have it. Not yet at least. In fact, it seems that this tale will appear on bookshelves before it appears on any cinema screens.

“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 and 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. I don’t know how these…agents work, but I’m not making this next. I’m going to publish it, and that’s it for now. I give it out to six people, and if I can’t trust them to that degree, then I have no desire to make it. I’ll publish it. I’m done. I’ll move onto the next thing. I’ve got 10 more where that came from.”

Apparently, the issue is not that the script leaked, but that it leaked stunningly early in the process and not even Tarantino wants the whole world reading a first draft.

“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 [work], and that they go out of their way to find it and read it. But I gave it to six…people! Starting this week, I’ll be setting meetings with publishers.

“I could totally change my mind; I own the…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.”

Make no mistake about it – it is the agents that are squarely in Tarantino’s crosshairs on this one, and by snatching his leaked script off their plates and gifting it to the world of publishing instead, Tarantino hopes to teach them (and their clients) a valuable lesson in discretion.

“I gave it to three…actors. We met in a place, and I put it in their hands. Reggie Hudlin’s agent never had a copy. It’s got to be either the agents of Dern or Madsen. Please name names.”

Whether Tarantino makes The Hateful Eight in the future or not, chances are high that the agents involved in this debacle won’t be getting their piece of the pie.