Later this year, Quentin Tarantino won’t just be returning to the Western with The Hateful Eight; he’ll also be returning to an exploration of race relations. For those who don’t know, the plot concerns eight strangers who get holed up at an inn during a snowstorm in Wyoming a handful of years after the Civil War. However, everyone has secrets, and not everyone might make it out of the inn alive.
Speaking to Vulture, Tarantino says that the racial conflict of the Civil War is very important to Hateful Eight. “My movie is about the country being torn apart by it,” says Tarantino, “and the racial aftermath, six, seven, eight, ten years later.” Vulture pointed out that this made the film contemporary because of the current racial tensions in our country. Tarantino said he was excited about that because “the issue of white supremacy is being talked about and dealt with. And it’s what the movie’s about.”
Tarantino didn’t write the script with current events in mind; it just turned out that way:
It was already in the script. It was already in the footage we shot. It just happens to be timely right now. We’re not trying to make it timely. It is timely. I love the fact that people are talking and dealing with the institutional racism that has existed in this country and been ignored. I feel like it’s another ’60s moment, where the people themselves had to expose how ugly they were before things could change. I’m hopeful that that’s happening now.
I suppose it shouldn’t be too surprising that race is such a concern to Tarantino, who clearly feels a close kinship with the black community (perhaps too close given that he felt he could throw around the n-word in Pulp Fiction), and even though Hateful Eight only features one black character and one Hispanic character (Samuel L. Jackson and Demian Bichir), it will be interesting to see how racial tensions come to the fore in this film.
Tarantino also briefly touched on future projects, and said that he was done with Killer Crow, which was about a group of black troops who go AWOL during World War II. It was originally supposed to be part of Inglourious Basterds when that film was going to be a miniseries, but the storyline was discarded when Tarantino reduced the scope back down to a film.
However, other projects he’s mentioned over the years—The Vega Brothers, the Django/Zorro crossover, and even Kill Bill 3, which he said a few years ago would probably never happen—aren’t off the table. However, he doesn’t sound too up on the idea of any of these, and I wouldn’t be surprised if these films never come to fruition.
And I’m fine with that. I’m glad that Tarantino isn’t doing sequels or retreads of his own work or anyone else’s. I want to see him do original work.
The Hateful Eight opens December 25th.