Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight will probably become a novel before it hits the big screen thanks to a recent script leak.
Quentin Tarantino started his Hollywood career with hits like Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, but these days he's getting more attention for his historical films. Inglorious Basterds and Django Unchained both received high critical praise, and fans were excited to learn that he would continue the trend with a traditional Western called The Hateful Eight. That's to say, he would have continued the trend, if the project wasn't shelved thanks to a recently leaked script.
"I finished a script, a first draft, and I didn't mean to shoot it until next winter, a year from now," Tarantino told Deadline. "I gave it to six people, and apparently it's gotten out today." Sometime after distributing the draft, Tarantino's agent began receiving calls from other agents, each one pitching clients for roles and naming details that could only have come from the script itself. Tarantino, who hoped to keep details under wraps, was furious.
"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," Tarantino continued. "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. I don't know how these fucking agents work, but I'm not making this next ... 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."
In fairness, Tarantino isn't shelving The Hateful Eight because of the leak itself; drafts of Inglorious Basterds were available long before release as well. Tarantino is mostly feeling betrayed by colleagues he's worked with closely for past films, which has soured him for the entire project. So far, nobody has stepped forward to claim responsibility for the leak, and proving who did will be difficult since the script had no identifying watermark.
In the meantime, Tarantino has noted that The Hateful Eight may still be completed one day, but it is no longer his priority project. Instead, he is considering having it published as a novel, with the option of adapting to film at a later date.