Noted cinephile Quentin Tarantino needed a considerable amount of funding back when he was shopping The Hateful Eight, thanks to his plan to not only shoot with 70mm film but also retrofit theaters so they could properly project the movie. The iconic director had a specific plan in mind, so he was in for quite the shock when he had a meeting with Universal boss Jeff Shell.
According to a new profile of Shell in the Wall Street Journal, the Universal studio chief decided to pitch Tarantino an entirely different approach to The Hateful Eight, which went over about as well as expected. Tarantino clearly wanted a return to the classic cinema form of shooting and releasing on actual 70mm film, and what he was offered was, well, the exact opposite of that.
Mr. Tarantino, a die-hard cinephile, wanted to release the movie on 70-millimeter theatrical prints that required special projectors for the big screen.
Jeff Shell, at the time the head of the Universal studio, voiced his own pitch. “What if we released it on iPhones?” he said.
“Great,” Mr. Tarantino replied, and stormed out of the meeting.
Ultimately, Tarantino reunited with The Weinstein Company, which plunked down money for the 70mm release only to take a financial hit when The Hateful Eight only brought in $155 million at the box office. And speaking of the theatrical release, Tarantino is still salty after arranging for Hateful Eight to play at the famed Cinerama Dome, which was a huge deal to him growing up in Los Angeles. However, as Tarantino tells it, The Hateful Eight was forced out of the Cinerama Dome by Disney who allegedly threatens to pull Star Wars: The Force Awakens from every Arclight theater if it didn’t bump Tarantino’s movie so the Star Wars movie could play at the Dome for an additional two weeks.
“I would never work (with Disney) in any way, shape or form after what they did to me,” Tarantino said a few months after the incident. “They f—ed me over.”