Quentin Tarantino has long been one of the biggest pro-film directors in the business, even going so far as to release his new film The Hateful Eight on the spectacular 70mm Ultra Panavision format in over 100 theaters nationwide, two weeks ahead of its digital release on January 8.
To add fuel to his pro-film fire, it turns out filmgoers who catch The Hateful Eight early on Tarantino’s intended format will actually see a different, more beautiful cut of the film, according to a new interview with Tarantino from Variety.
“The roadshow version has an overture and an intermission, and it will be three hours, two minutes,” Tarantino said. “The multiplex version is about six minutes shorter, not counting the intermission time, which is about 12 minutes.”
Tarantino says the decision to cut the film for multiplex release was artistic, not studio-forced. The director took away time from the slow, majestic wide shots he was able to achieve on the cinephile-preferred 70mm — shots that aren’t quite as impressive when viewers screen the film digitally.
“It was awesome in the bigness of 70, but sitting on your couch, maybe it’s not so awesome,” he said, “So I cut it up a little bit. It’s a little less precious about itself.”
A film set in Wyoming a few years after the Civil War, The Hateful Eight focuses on eight characters who are stuck in a stagecoach stopover during a blizzard. Those eight characters are played by Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Demián Bichir, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen and Bruce Dern.
The Weinstein Company is putting big bucks into the 70mm release, which it says will be the largest of its kind in decades. In order to achieve the wide release, the company has even gone so far as to pay to retrofit some theaters with expensive vintage projectors.
Tarantino hopes this will set a new precedent for more art-minded film releases, with special cuts, and grander shots hitting exclusive screens only in an effort to drive audiences to seek out rare versions of films in special theaters before they make it to the masses on cineplex screens.
“I’m hoping that ‘Hateful Eight’ does well enough that that becomes, for the filmmakers who care, the new premier way to launch their movie in an exclusive way.”