Universal Wanted to Pull a U2 with Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight'
The director wasn't receptive to an iPhone release
Published Jun 23, 2020The main reason anyone still remembers, let alone acknowledges, U2's 2014 studio album Songs of Innocence is for its infuriating rollout strategy, which saw it beamed directly to devices of anyone with an iTunes account. It's now been revealed that Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight could have suffered a similar fate, had the director not exited the pitch meeting immediately after hearing the idea.
A Wall Street Journal profile of NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell opens with a story of how he met with Tarantino to discuss the release of the 2015 western. In true cinephile fashion, Tarantino sought a massive budget to shoot The Hateful Eight on 70mm film, which would then require special projectors properly equipped to screen the format.
The WSJ reports: "Jeff Shell, at the time the head of the Universal studio, voiced his own pitch. 'What if we released it on iPhones?' he said. 'Great,' Mr. Tarantino replied, and stormed out of the meeting."
Of course, Tarantino would take his three-hour-plus 70mm "roadshow" version of The Hateful Eight to the now-bankrupt Weinstein Company for its theatrical release. In 2019, Netflix chopped the lengthy film into an episodic series.
Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood arrived last year, and he's shared plans to adapt a piece of into a new TV project. The film earned him a nomination for Best Director at the 2020 Academy Awards.