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The cast of Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight get profiled in new photos

The road to the silver screen for Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming western The Hateful Eight has been a rocky one, but now we’re well on our way to seeing the film in theaters later this year. In a new series of photos released by the studio, the all-star cast of the film is introduced in all their rugged, dirty, and dangerous glory.

Tarantino’s film was the focus of a recent issue of Entertainment Weekly in which the filmmaker offered some thoughts on the project along with providing an introduction to several prominent members of the film’s cast of colorful characters. Among the photos was an image (embedded below) of Kurt Russell’s tough-as-nails bounty hunter, John Ruth, confronting Samuel Jackson’s former Union officer, Major Marquis Warren.

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Also pictured in the gallery was a shot of Tarantino working with Tim Roth, who plays the British hangman, Oswaldo Mobray. Seen in the background are Russell and Jennifer Jason Leigh, who plays the ruthless outlaw, Daisy Domergue.

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The issue also features a set of profiles of the cast that are available at EW.com, with brief descriptions of their characters and the backgrounds they profess to have — although the truth behind each of their backstories could be something entirely different.

Along with Russell, Jackson, Roth, and Leigh, The Hateful Eight also stars Walton Goggins, Demian Bichir, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern, and Channing Tatum (who doesn’t appear in any of the photos).

The film, which has yet to receive an official release date, is described as follows:

In The Hateful Eight, set six or eight or twelve years after the Civil War, a stagecoach hurtles through the wintry Wyoming landscape. The passengers, bounty hunter John Ruth (Russell) and his fugitive Daisy Domergue (Leigh), race towards the town of Red Rock where Ruth, known in these parts as “The Hangman,” will bring Domergue to justice. Along the road, they encounter two strangers: Major Marquis Warren (Jackson), a black former union soldier turned infamous bounty hunter, and Chris Mannix (Goggins), a southern renegade who claims to be the town’s new Sheriff. Losing their lead on the blizzard, Ruth, Domergue, Warren and Mannix seek refuge at Minnie’s Haberdashery, a stagecoach stopover on a mountain pass. When they arrive at Minnie’s, they are greeted not by the proprietor but by four unfamiliar faces. Bob (Bichir), who’s taking care of Minnie’s while she’s visiting her mother, is holed up with Oswaldo Mobray (Roth), the hangman of Red Rock, cow-puncher Joe Gage (Madsen), and Confederate General Sanford Smithers (Dern). As the storm overtakes the mountainside stopover, our eight travelers come to learn they may not make it to Red Rock after all…

In discussing the film, Tarantino touched on the similarities between its premise and that of his critically praised debut film, Reservoir Dogs.

“A bunch of guys in a room who can’t trust each other,” said Tarantino of the film’s underlying theme. “That wasn’t a marching order when I sat down to write the script, but pretty quickly I realized this is kind of a nice coming-full-circle.”

You can read more of the interview with Tarantino at EW.com and view the rest of the character profiles from The Hateful Eight.