The movie mogul, whose The Weinstein Company is behind the acclaimed Western, admits he was devastated when Tarantino failed to score a Best Director nod when the Oscars nominations were announced this month (Jan13).
The film picked up four other nominations and has a shot in the Best Picture category, but Weinstein feels the director missed out on recognition because of how the awards Dvds were distributed to Academy members.
He tells Deadline.com, "I don't want to use the word 'robbed,' but Quentin Tarantino not in the running for Best Director? He is one of the greatest directors of our time. Here's what I think happened on Django... We tried to show it to people (voters) in theatres, not on Dvd. It's an epic movie and that man put his whole life and heart into this... and the idea of Dvds stopped me cold. And I stopped them. I wouldn't do it... I delayed them. I wanted people to see it on the big screen.
"I told Quentin we'd probably pay the price at the Oscars, but it was the right way to see an epic period movie... Eventually, we gave out the Dvds but we paid the price for being late. We paid no price as far as the gigantic business the movie's doing. It's the biggest of Quentin's career. After we put our heart and soul into the movie, the Oscar campaign was secondary. But make no mistake about it - we got five nominations including Best Picture, and we only had one week (before the voting deadline)."
The moviemakers competing for the Best Director Oscar are Michael Haneke (Amour), Ang Lee (Life of Pi), David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook), Steven Spielberg (Lincoln) and Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild).
The winner will be announced during the Los Angeles prizegiving on 24 February (13).