There’s plenty of reason to rejoice about the films coming in December, chief among them being that a new Quentin Tarantino movie is headed our way. But when The Hateful Eight hits theaters, there will actually be two different versions of the movie to experience. Tarantino and director of photography Robert Richardson shot the Western in 70mm and, in an effort to tout the preservation of film projection, Tarantino and The Weinstein Company are planning a roadshow exhibition for the 70mm version of the film. We already knew that The Hateful Eight would be released in 70mm a full two weeks before it hits traditional multiplexes, but now Tarantino reveals that he’s actually cut two different versions of the film for the two different exhibitions.
Speaking with Variety, Tarantino reveals that the 70mm cut of The Hateful Eight is over three hours in length:
“The roadshow version has an overture and an intermission, and it will be three hours, two minutes. The multiplex version is about six minutes shorter, not counting the intermission time, which is about 12 minutes.”
The two-time Oscar winner was not ordered to truncate the film for wider release. Rather, he liked the idea of the roadshow experience having a little something extra. “Nor did I want to treat the multiplex release like this left-handed version, either,” he said. So he tweaked certain scenes to better suit the separate viewing experiences.
However, not only is the 70mm cut of The Hateful Eight longer than the multiplex cut, but Tarantino actually made a different edit for the large-format version of the film:
“The 70 is the 70,” he said. “You’ve paid the money. You’ve bought your ticket. So you’re there. I’ve got you. But I actually changed the cutting slightly for a couple of the multiplex scenes because it’s not that. Now it’s on Showtime Extreme. You’re watching it on TV and you just kind of want to watch a movie on your couch. Or you’re at Hot Dog on a Stick and you just want to catch a movie.”
The sequences in question play in “big, long, cool, unblinking takes” in the 70mm version, Tarantino said. “It was awesome in the bigness of 70, but sitting on your couch, maybe it’s not so awesome. So I cut it up a little bit. It’s a little less precious about itself.”
This is actually pretty neat, although the fact remains that the number of theaters in the country that can reasonably project 70mm is minuscule compared to traditional, digitally projected theaters. Sure, moviegoers in places like New York City and Los Angeles have a choice, but much of the country simply won’t be able to feasibly see the 70mm cut of The Hateful Eight unless they can make the trek however far to the nearest 70mm projection theater. That’s somewhat of a bummer, but I’ll be curious to see which theaters Tarantino and The Weinstein Company have convinced to retrofit their projectors to accommodate 70mm.
I know Tarantino’s not crazy about Blu-ray either, but here’s hoping the home video release of The Hateful Eight will include both versions of the film for those curious to check out the differences. The film opens exclusively in 70mm on December 25th, followed by a wide release on January 8th.