Hateful Eight

The Weinstein Company

Quentin Tarantino‘s righteous fury at those who leaked The Hateful Eight‘s screenplay has abated. The film is no longer spite-cancelled, and it may start shooting as early as early next year (according to /Film, who heard the news on Fox 59, who in turn heard it from Kurt Russell).

Tarantino’s heart has swelled so profusely that not only is he going to give us The Hateful Eight, he’s going to give us a trailer next week. /Film, once again, has the scoop, having found mention of a Hateful Eight trailer on the Alberta Film Ratings board, and then also hearing from people working in local multiplexes, who’ve been notified that a minute and 40 seconds of Hateful Eight will run before Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. Then, Deadline wrapped everything up with their own confirmation.

However, there is a caveat- in order to see that fateful Hateful Eight tease, you’ve got to pay to see Sin City in theaters. No online release, people. Or, for the realists out there, no online release, except for a shaky phone recording where some guy’s head is blocking half the shot, people.

Because as admirable as it sounds (giving incentives for people to actually pay to see movies; giving Tarantino’s longtime bestie Robert Rodriguez a mild box-office fist bump), this neat little idea doesn’t take into account that we live in a world where nearly every human being who can afford a movie ticket can also afford a pocket-sized electronic device with a recording device in it. Next weekend, it’s open season on The Hateful Eight for anyone interested in a few thousand ill-gotten Youtube hits.

It can’t be overstated: you can’t stop people from bootlegging your secret trailers. It is, in all seriousness, more likely for Tarantino to surgically decapitate himself with a robot assistant, have his head grafted onto Samuel L. Jackson’s shoulders, and for them to get a talk show on TBS than for a “no online please” trailer to go unleaked by the general public.

Case in point: every year, Comic-Con hires boffo security for Hall H, and every year those security teams, armed with scanning devices and EMP blaster rifles (I’m assuming- I’ve never actually been to Hall H) fail to stop at least one trailer from popping up online.

Just now, I punched some combination of “Batman v Superman,” “Comic-Con” and “Trailer Leak” into Google, and the first freaking result had almost the entire clip. Not that you should ever do that (I did solely as a demonstrative aid), because the more leaked footage you watch, the more leakers are encouraged to press the record button in places where the meeting of thumb and record button is strictly prohibited.

Not everything from Hall H leaks, mind you, but as long as there have been Earth-shattering exclusives at Comic-Con, those exclusives have been creeping their way onto Youtube (and then, when Youtube has been cleansed of all wrongdoing videos, sites of lesser repute). As far back as 2006, footage of Spider-Man 3 was making Sony and the security forces of San Diego look foolish by brazenly rearing its head online in a crappy cell phone video.

Giving an extra treat to the folk who still pay to see films is an admirable idea, but it seems a little moot unless Tarantino and Rodriguez want to hire extra security to pat down every single person seeing A Dame to Kill For next weekend (and even in that case, someone will implant a GoPro behind his/her eyeball and get that trailer on Youtube within a day or two).

It also seems even mootier given the likelihood that the Hateful Eight trailer won’t contain any Hateful Eight footage. The piece in /Film includes a few folks on Twitter, who claim to have seen the teaser and state that “it is basically all title cards.” Exercise your own judgement in trusting random Twitter users, but all titles would certainly gel with the whole “hasn’t filmed anything yet” bit. Also, it seems very Tarantino-y to do a full 100 seconds of title cards and nothing else.

If seeing the next Sin City meant exclusive access to, I don’t know, Kurt Russell gnawing on a man’s forearm (apparently The Hateful Eight has a Donner Party vibe to it), then it’d absolutely worth paying to see it on a jumbo screen and not someone’s iPhone. If you weren’t already planning on seeing A Dame to Kill For, that is.

But if it’s just going to end up online, it’s probably in Tarantino’s best interests to just put it there himself. Better to have the first glimpse of your next movie be in stunning 1080p than in grainy garbage quality that becomes completely unwatchable when an entire family of four stoands up to get more cheese-like sauce product for their nachos.


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