Earlier this afternoon Harvey Weinstein took to the Majestic Hotel’s Salon Croisette in Cannes (yes, it’s as posh as it sounds - there were macaroons) to show the world’s press footage from the Weinstein Company’s upcoming slate of films. Among the clips – the first teaser for Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight.
Clocking in at around 90 seconds, the teaser opens with Samuel L. Jackson’s Major Marquis Warren stood over two corpses in the middle of a snow-swept road, forcing a horse-drawn carriage to a stop. “Got room for one more?”
Inside are Kurt Russell’s magnificently ‘stached bounty hunter John ‘The Hangman’ Ruth, and his bounty, black-eyed Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh). Turns out that snow ain’t just there to make everything look pretty, it serves an important narrative purpose – stranding Ruth, Domergue and Warren in a spacious haberdashery belonging to Dana Gourrier’s Minnie where Oswaldo Mobray (Tim Roth), Sheriff Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins), General Sandy Smithers (Bruce Dern) and Joe Gage (Michael Madsen) are already holed up.
The biggest surprise of the trailer? Tim Roth going full toff as Mobray “Good heavens! A woman, out in this white hell?” Good heavens indeed.
After Mannix breaks the news to the assembled miscreants (Goggins looking like he’s borrowed the wardrobe of his Justified castmate Timothy Olyphant) that they aren’t going anywhere any time soon, Ruth gives us the plot in one bitesize chunk: “One of them fellas is not what he says he is. One of them, maybe even two of em’s, here to see Domergue free. To accomplish that goal they’ll kill everybody in here.” Cue close ups of Madsen’s Gage sat behind a small table with a revolver strapped to the underside, a cover of the Rolling Stones' ‘Gunface' playing over the top, and Ruth letting out an almighty laugh.
So structurally it’s very similar to Reservoir Dogs – a (seemingly) single location story where one member of the group is not to be trusted. Where it differs from Tarantino’s breakthrough masterpiece is the humour and larger than life performances, which feel much more in step Inglorious Basterds and, to a lesser extent, Django Unchained. The trailer ends declaring that the film has been shot in “glorious” 70mm and even on the basis of this brief glimpse The Hateful Eight looks the have the rich visuals to back up the unusual choice of format.
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