After the live read-through conducted in Hollywood, we now get an idea of which actors will play which characters in The Hateful Eight.
Quentin Tarantino recently hosted a live read through of the screenplay for his latest film The Hateful Eight, which by many accounts heralds in a return to the earlier work in the oeuvre of the claustrophobic Reservoir Dogs rather than the grand-scale theatrics of such recent work as Django Unchained.
The filmmaker has been elusive about whether The Hateful Eight would ever get made.
The read through itself came as a response to the actions of alternative news website Gawker, who published a link to an online copy of Tarantino’s screenplay for the film. Suitably enraged, the pop-culture infatuated auteur not only sued the website but also threatened to postpone the film indefinitely. Thankfully, Tarantino’s rational irritation has subsided, and his official read through also saw the first reveal of the film’s impressive cast in the hope of offsetting a host of rumours and hear-say surrounding the film.
The film will carry on from the period piece of Django Unchained, where the lawlessness of an emerging American frontier provides the ideal backdrop to Tarantino’s customary cascade of arbitrary violence, casual racism and increasingly elaborate and highly stylised death scenes.
It will come as no surprise that long-time collaborator Samuel L Jackson will once again step into the fray alongside Kurt Russell, who previously starred in Tarantino project Death Proof and was due to play a role in Django Unchained before being replaced by Walton Goggins, who also has a part in The Hateful Eight.
Russell will play a brutal and sadistic bounty hunter named The Hangman, who always brings his victims alive before the executioner. Jackson also takes the role of a particularly bloodthirsty ex-Union Army officer who has now decided a career in bounty hunting is a more edifying and rewarding occupation. Amber Tamblyn, also of Django Unchained fame undertakes a role as a supremely racist partner to Russell’s bounty hunter whilst yet another Django actor, James Remar, who found fame in the cult film The Warriors, has been cast as an elderly Confederate general. Tim Roth, another previous Pulp Fiction alumni, is saved from trying to force an English accent by playing an English executioner.
The story itself is a masterclass in mutual distrust and casual murder full to the brim with expletives and with a very high body count where the rough "North" and "South" divide of the American Civil War is re-enacted in microcosm within the confines of the small town of Red Rock. Many members of the cast are culled and only a few are left standing at the film’s bloody conclusion. The film will is reportedly due to start shooting in November, although details remain few and far between. If it does indeed move towards production it will be a studious continuation of Tarantino’s post-modern pastiche and homage to past cinematic masters. Expect blood, bodies and a hell of a lot of swearing.