Quentin Tarantino loves movies. He loves watching movies and loves making movies. And after his appearance to promote his latest, "The Hateful Eight," it was also delightfully obvious that Tarantino loves to talk about movies.
Playing to a packed Hall H at Comic-Con Saturday, the "Pulp Fiction" and "Kill Bill" auteur didn't hold back when it came to discussing his upcoming eighth film, the leaked script controversy, his decision to shoot in 70 mm, whether fans will get a "Kill Bill 3," and whether or not he really will retire after making his tenth film.
It was only his second visit to Comic-Con – the first being in 2012 to showcase footage from "Django Unchained" – and that many waited hours to bask in his presence is a testament to how highly he's regarded by his fans. A sentiment echoed by his players, all of whom were in attendance except for Samuel L. Jackson who delivered a special video message before the panel got underway, a virtual cinematic history lesson.
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Joining Tarantino were Bruce Dern, Michael Madsen, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tim Roth, Demian Bichir and Walton Goggins – the eight (minus Jackson, Saturday) who comprise the titular group in a 19th century tale about bounty hunters forced to seek shelter during a blizzard.
Tarantino debuted seven minutes of footage from the film, which will be released at Christmas, as well as a new poster.
Here's what we learned:
About the movie: The scenes gave a brief introduction to the eight lead characters, and Tarantino confirmed at the end of the panel the score was composed by legendary, veteran composer Ennio Morricone ("The Good, the Bad and the Ugly," "A Fistful of Dollars," "The Mission"). "This will be his first Western score in 40 years," announced Tarantino
It's beautiful: Shot in 70 mm film it's a sweeping vision of the frozen frontier. Of his choice of format, Tarantino said it was as much about cinema history as it was about aesthetics. Of digital production he said, "That's not the industry that I signed up for." He loves real film and that's all he wants to shoot with. He also prefers watching movies on film. "If I shoot in 70 mm, then they have to screen it in 70mm," he added.
On the leaked early version of the script: Tarantino stressed it was a first draft that surfaced online and he planned at least two more versions before filming was to begin. "There were certain plot threads that I didn’t tie up yet," he said. Of the brouhaha that ensued – he eventually brought a lawsuit against the website Gawker – he said with a shrug, "It got more publicity than I wanted it to get."
On whether he will in fact retire after 10 films: Of statements he made last year saying he would step away from cinema after completing his tenth movie, he assured fans at the pace he works he'll still be behind a camera for at least another 10 years. "We’ll see what ends up happening," he said. "I usually make 3 movies a decade. This is number two for this decade. It’s still another decade after. ... I might just say to hell with it and make 15."
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His actors adore working with him: Those on the panel had nothing but praise for Tarantino. Madsen called him "the best director on the planet." According to Dern he has "the greatest attention to detail of any director who has ever lived." Russell said working with the director was the best experience of his career.
Will he ever make "Kill Bill 3": "Never say never," Tarantino said. "Uma would really like to do it and we talk about it every once in a while." At this the Hall H crowd went wild.
Would he move to television? "Maybe there are 10 movies but three mini-series for television," he said, again to the delight of those seated before him. "My scripts get cut down anyway. If I wrote a script and it’s eight hours, then we’ll be all good."