Last week, the entire script for Quentin Tarantino's next movie – known as The Hateful Eight – was leaked all over the internet. Tarantino had apparently already linked Bruce Dern, Christoph Waltz and Tim Roth to three of the roles, but once the script got out, Tarantino announced the he was going to drop the film from his slate. He did specifically say that he wasn't saying he'd NEVER make the movie, but that it definitely wasn't going to be the next movie he was going to make, instead possibly turning the script into a novel and releasing the story that way.
Now, while every Tarantino release is to be celebrated as a major moment in modern cinema, there was something just a little underwhelming about the idea of Tarantino making The Hateful Eight is next movie.
Not to give much away about the movie for anyone who hasn't already read the script online, or who doesn't want the surprises of the eventual book and/or movie once it's released, but for one thing, The Hateful Eight was yet another Western. Tarantino has already labelled Kill Bill Vol.2 a "Western" (with Kill Bill Vol.1 an "Eastern"), which isn't to mention Django Unchained, which Tarantino called his "Southern" movie, but let's be honest, it's a Western, that just happens to be set in the South. So that would make three westerns out of nine movies, and for a man as talented as Tarantino, there are other genres that need his attention.
Another thing about The Hateful Eight was that it took place pretty much entirely inside one location, a la Reservoir Dogs. With a storm raging aside, eight dangerous men and women take cover inside a bar, and tension and violence brews and overflows over the course of one night, and it's nice that Tarantino can still think "small" after the grand scopes of Inglorious Basterds and the Kill Bill series, but again, a group of killers in one small location is something that he's already done.
As much as we love what that demented brain of Tarantino comes up with on his own, it would appear that there is a certain set of limitations to what he can, or wants to, make movies about. He's got a weakness for revenge, and not one of his characters seem capable of shame or embarrassment, and with the very vague exception of Death Proof, he's obsessed with crime. Whether the crime is small time like, say, robbing a few thousand dollars, or a few thousand dollars' worth of diamonds, or something much larger, like genocide or slavery, Tarantino takes a modern look at crime and applies to everything, regardless of its time period.
It seems like The Hateful Eight would've just been that again, and what would've we give to see Tarantino tackle something else? What if Tarantino decided to have a little fun, not just fun that HE finds fun, but actual FUN? We're not suggesting that he be a "sell-out" or whatever and direct a blockbuster, but there was a time when Tarantino was in talks to direct the most recent James Bond reboot Casino Royale, and before that, there were (eventually unfounded) rumours that he was to direct the adaptation of hit videogame Half-Life.
Tarantino leaving crime behind would be revelatory, and his take on a horror movie, or a sci-fi movie, would be potentially staggering. His intrinsic knowledge of cinema, and genre within cinema, means he could turn these generally stilted genres on their heads. Cabin In The Woods was one of the most notable horror movies in recent years, and it also completely smacked of Tarantino, in that it was violent, funny, completely self-aware and self-reflective, while still working within the parameters of the rules of the genre. Sci-fi hasn't had that moment yet, as while there's been plenty of smart science fiction lately, they've all mostly been very low budget, with one smart idea placed front and centre to distract us from the crap production values around it. Tarantino received a $70 million budget for his "war" film (with no "war" scenes) Inglorious Basterds, and then he received a $100 million budget Django Unchained, so if he told producers he has a sci-fi idea he wants to do next, you better believe that will pony up the dough to make sure his vision is properly realised. And so will cinema-goers.
So here we are, Tarantino is freed from repeating himself with The Hateful Eight, and the entire world of cinema is no open up in front of him, to do with it what he pleases. Let's hope it's something entirely unexpected. A Tarantino rom-com, anyone? We'd f**king love it!