In case you were hiding under a rock or reading real news last week, Quentin Tarantino’s script for The Hateful Eight leaked online, and Quentin, noting that he’d only shown it to six people (including Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern, and Tim Roth), was so angry he promised to shelve the project. That seemed like an odd reaction, since the scripts for both Inglourious Basterds and Django both leaked online well before their release. In any case, he’s taking it a step further now, filing a copyright lawsuit against Gawker Media for posting the script on their site, Defamer.
From the Hollywood Reporter:
“Gawker Media has made a business of predatory journalism, violating people’s rights to make a buck,” says Tarantino’s lawsuit. “This time they went too far. Rather than merely publishing a news story reporting that Plaintiff’s screenplay may have been circulating in Hollywood without his permission, Gawker Media crossed the journalistic line by promoting itself to the public as the first source to read the entire Screenplay illegally.”
It sounds like he’s drawing a distinction between sites who noted that the screenplay had been leaked, and Defamer, who posted the link to the actual script. In another interesting wrinkle, up until a month ago, one of Defamer’s main writers had been Beejoli Shah, the girl who got fired for a mass email about QT masturbating onto her feet (ALLEGEDLY) that went viral. Maybe Tarantino is holding a grudge? Or maybe he’s just pissed about his script being leaked like he says he is.
He’s treating this as a violation of his privacy, which is his prerogative, but from a business standpoint I can’t imagine it makes any difference. Someone who takes the time to download and read a Tarantino script is almost certainly going to buy a ticket.
Whatever the case may be, I hope Michael Madsen has to testify. I picture the lawyer impatiently tapping his feet and rolling his eyes while Michael Madsen chain smokes and rasps out a long story about the time he met the Doobie Brothers.