EXCLUSIVE: I’m hearing that Channing Tatum is circling a major role in the Quentin Tarantino-directed The Hateful Eight. Filming begins early next year, and he would join Samuel L Jackson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern, Kurt Russell, Tim Roth and others in the Western epic, which almost wasn’t after Tarantino shelved the film after the script was leaked.

Now principal photography begins in January, and it will be shot on 65mm film; the plan is to have the widest 70mm film release in more than 20 years, according to distributor The Weinstein Co. Richard Gladstein, Stacey Sher and Shannon McIntosh will produce the film and executive producers are Bob and Harvey Weinstein along with G. Mac Brown.

Tatum was just officially attached to star in and also producer a Gambit spinoff and is doing the awards circuit now for Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher, where he is getting Oscar buzz for his role as Olympic champion wrestler Mark Schultz. He also is with Free Association partner Reid Carolin producing and starring in Magic Mike XXL.

Tatum is repped by UTA and Management 360.