EXCLUSIVE: Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight is finally showing some love to distributors who have been waiting for months to acquire the Weinstein Company’s Western. Deadline understands that a deal has now closed with Universum in Germany. Deals are in advanced stages of discussion in other international territorie, including with longtime Weinstein partner Entertainment Film Distributors in the UK and Leone Film Group in Italy, but the only other closed deals for now are with SND M6 in France, eOne in Benelux and PVR in India. Weinstein Co reps declined to comment.
The question of where Tarantino’s film would land has garnered almost urban-legend status in indie film circles ever since TWC first introduced it to the marketplace last November at AFM. High asking prices, top-secret script readings and, most damagingly, an attempt by the Weinsteins to carve out SVOD rights for a spinoff Netflix deal that only aggravated potential buyers ultimately saw that market end with no deals closed. As the months have progressed, and other markets in Berlin and Cannes have come and gone with no announcements, the status of the project has proven a perennial talking point amongst indie buyers. That speculation only increased as Tarantino started — and finished — shooting, again with no sign of closed deals.
Complicating the process has been the high level of involvement that Tarantino has in the film’s release strategy. He has been insistent on a theatrical 70mm release and is believed to be personally approving each distributor. That, and the fact he’s been busy actually making the film, has meant an abnormally long negotiation period with buyers. Thankfully, for those lucky few ending up with the much-anticipated film, those talks now appear to be reaching their fruition.
The Hateful Eight is getting an exclusive two-week roadshow in 70mm nationwide beginning Christmas Day in the U.S. The plan is to follow that with a digital theatrical release January 8. It will mark the widest 70mm release the industry has seen in more than two decades. Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Demian Bichir, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen and Bruce Dern all star in the pic, about what happens when eight travelers and are caught in a Wyoming snowstorm at a stagecoach stopover.
The pic will open up against another snowbound epic, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarittu’s The Revenant starring Leonardo DiCaprio, on December 25 domestically.