Quentin Tarantino’s dialogue is like great music. When you hear it, you know it belongs to him. His scripts read beautifully — despite his spelling — and one can only hope that, in the future, the director/writer can sit down and work out a pulp novel for his fans to devour. That’s why knowing that Django Unchained’s main hero almost went on a new series of adventures with Schultz in a series of paperback spin-offs stings. Luckily, the fact that the abandoned Django novel became The Hateful Eight helps lessens the pain. Any Tarantino is better than no Tarantino, after all.
So how did this transformation from novel to film come about? Tarantino explained to DP/30 how the very real Django novel morphed into The H8ful Eight after characters and story structure clashed:
“After doing Django I knew I didn’t want to do any Django movie sequels or anything, but I liked the idea of there being several paperbacks that could be the further adventures of Django or maybe go back in time, a couple more Django/Schultz adventures. So I hadn’t written a novel before and I thought I would just try my hand at writing a Django paperback. At the time it was called ‘Django In White Hell’. Instead of [Samuel L. Jackson’s] Major Warren it was Django.”
“Because I was introducing such rough characters in this piece, and there would be even more disreputable characters waiting for them [at the haberdashery], at a certain point I realized, ‘well you know what’s wrong with this piece? It’s Django. he’s needs to go. Because you shouldn’t have a moral center when it comes to these eight characters.’ ”