Tarantino ‘Stormed Out of Meeting’ After Universal Pitched iPhone Release for ‘Hateful Eight’
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Universal boss Jeff Shell significantly disrupted the film business this year after he agreed to skip the movie theaters and open Trolls: World Tour directly for VOD platforms. The studio would do the same with films like "The King of Staten Island" and "You should have gone". Shell said Universal would continue to release films directly to VOD after the cinemas reopened, leading to outrage and bans on major chains like AMC. However, it turned out that Shell once had an even more controversial idea: publish a Quentin Tarantino film directly on iPhones.
In a new Shell profile released this week by the Wall Street Journal, it was announced that Tarantino met with the universal manager to release his western film "The Hateful Eight". Tarantino needed a large budget for the project because he intended to shoot the film on 70mm film and retrofit theaters across the country with projectors that could play the film on film as intended. Shell, however, had a completely different release schedule for the film.
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As the Wall Street Journal reports: “Jeff Shell, at the time the director of the Universal Studio, said his own pitch. "What if we release it on iPhones?" He said. "Great," replied Mr. Tarantino and stormed out of the meeting. "
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The proposal to release a 70mm film by Quentin Tarantino on iPhones is more or less a cinephile sin. Tarantino would eventually reunite with The Weinstein Company for "The Hateful Eight". Shell wasn't entirely wrong about being worried about the project from a business perspective, although an iPhone release is outrageous. TWC spent around $ 60 million to produce the film, and it was an additional expense to release the film as a 70mm road show. TWC enjoyed financial success after The Hateful Eight grossed just $ 155 million worldwide.
As for Tarantino, director Sony Pictures became his first major Hollywood studio after breaking ties with TWC for the production of "Once Upon A Time in Hollywood". Tarantino has also partnered with Netflix to release an expanded version of "The Hateful Eight" as an episodically limited series.
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