Quentin Tarantino's new film The Hateful Eight hasn't had the smoothest journey to the big screen, but it now has a release date. According to The Hollywood Reporter the movie will be debuting in select theaters in 70mm on December 25th, Christmas Day. The standard release will follow on January 8th.
The Hateful Eight has a certain amount of drama to its legacy thus far. A draft of the script leaked in early 2014, prompting Tarantino to sue Gawker and eventually call off the film entirely. Several months later he directed a staged reading of the screenplay in Los Angeles for a public crowd, and then eventually decided to make the movie after all. Then in April a teaser for the movie leaked, prompting more frustration and a bevy of takedown notices. Frankly, we just want to see the movie already.
What's intriguing about this particular release plan, however, is the focus on film. Tarantino has long been an outspoken advocate for shooting and projecting film, turning the New Beverly Cinema in LA he purchased into a shrine to film projection. Much like Paul Thomas Anderson did with The Master, Tarantino shot The Hateful Eight in 65mm, and the Christmas Day release will be shown exclusively in the bigger format. This is going to drastically limit the number of theaters that will be able to show the film — if the number of theaters that still have film projectors is a small subset of the whole, the number with 70mm projectors is a smaller subset of that — but those who trek out to see the film right away will get to witness a medium with rich, lush colors that today's standard digital projectors simply can't match. But if you can't make it to one of those theaters, we're betting the regular version will probably be pretty damn good, too.