Under the Radar

Post-Civil War Justice in 'The Hateful Eight'

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Director Quentin Tarantino's upcoming movie The Hateful Eight has gone through a lot to make it to the screen. First, an early copy of the screenplay leaked and got posted all over the Internet. Then Tarantino canceled the project, saying he felt violated and heartbroken that an early draft would ruin the movie for people. Then he tried to write another screenplay and decided that it would be easier to return to The Hateful Eight. Then he insisted on shooting the film in 70mm, a nearly-forgotten format last widely used in the '6t0s for movies like Lawrence of Arabia or Patton. Oh, and they shot during the winter in Colorado in a snowstorm.

Well, the first trailer has arrived and we finally get a look at Tarantino's tale of bounty hunters in the years after the Civil War.

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The movie features a large contingent of Tarantino regulars: Kurt Russell stars as legendary bounty hunter John Ruth, a man who insists on taking his prisoners alive and returning them to be hanged, even if they're wanted dead or alive. Samuel L. Jackson is a former Union major who's also in the bounty game. Bruce Dern plays a former Confederate general and Michael Madsen, Walton Goggins and Tim Roth have major roles (Roth seems to be playing a role that sounds like it was written for Christoph Waltz). Demian Bechir is running the stagecoach stopover where they all take refuge from the storms. Jennifer Jason Leigh is the prisoner that Russell is taking to be hanged. She's might be the eighth person in the Hateful Eight, but there's also a rumor that Channing Tatum has an unannounced role in the movie.

Post-war dealings and conflicts and new alliances and old disputes have long been a great theme of post-WWII movies and the Civil War hangover has been used in quite a few westerns. How much old alliances and loyalties play into the plot of The Hateful Eight isn't clear yet, but it's sure to be one of the more interesting themes in the new movie.

The Hateful Eight opens on Christmas Day. There aren't many theaters that can show a movie in 70mm, so you might have to take a trip to see it screen exactly as Tarantino intended.

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