For directors, the first cut might only sometimes be the deepest, but it’s almost always the longest. Quentin Tarantino is doing things in reverse for his latest film, The Hateful Eight, releasing a lengthier director’s cut of the snowbound western two weeks before the theatrical version hits. The director told Variety that the first cut is part of the film’s initial roadshow release, which will see the film touring upward of 100 theaters and screening in the rarely used, but cinematically sumptious 70mm format.
Tarantino, an ardent supporter of film projection over digital video, is hoping to make the Christmas release a special cinematic event. As such, the roadshow cut will clock in at three hours and two minutes, which is six minutes longer than the theatrical cut that lopes into multiplexes on Jan. 8. The two cuts will also feature different versions of certain scenes.
“The 70 is the 70,” Tarantino explained. “You’ve paid the money. You’ve bought your ticket. So you’re there. I’ve got you. But I actually changed the cutting slightly for a couple of the multiplex scenes because it’s not that. Now it’s on Showtime Extreme. You’re watching it on TV and you just kind of want to watch a movie on your couch. Or you’re at Hot Dog on a Stick and you just want to catch a movie.”
Fellow celluloid-heads Christopher Nolan and Paul Thomas Anderson have also made films (Interstellar and The Master) in the format, but both of those 70mm releases were far more modest than what the Weinstein Company has planned. This sort of event release will surely be watched closely by others in the industry.
“I think everybody is looking to see how we do in that first two weeks,” the director is quoted as saying. “But that’s also kind of exciting. 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.”