Quentin Tarantino threatened to cancel The Hateful Eight after an early script draft leaked online; fortunately, he didn’t follow through on that, and is now gearing up to begin shooting the western-flavored project on location in Colorado beginning next month (December 2014, at the time of writing this). We’ve been reporting on possible casting selections for the film in recent weeks, but now the movie’s official cast has been announced at last.
The majority of the project’s main cast members, as expected, are the same people who participated in a live Hateful Eight script reading earlier this year. The roster includes Tarantino’s most trusted collaborators – Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Madsen, and Tim Roth – plus his old friends Kurt Russell, Walton Goggins, and Bruce Dern. The new additions to the filmmaker’s inner-circle this round include Jennifer Jason Leigh, Channing Tatum (as we reported this morning), and The Bridge alum Demian Bichir.
Tatum, as it were, isn’t a member of the eponymous Hateful Eight; it’s rumored that his role will be a substantial one regardless. Below, we have the names of the film’s eight main players along with the respective actor who’s portraying them in Tarantino’s motion picture (as listed in the official Weinstein Company press release). We also have the characters’ nicknames, which they were identified by in the Hateful Eight theatrical teaser.
- Samuel L. Jackson is Major Marquis Warren a.k.a. “The Bounty Hunter”
- Kurt Russell is John Ruth, a.k.a. “The Hangman”
- Jennifer Jason Leigh is Daisy Domergue, a.k.a. “The Prisoner”
- Walton Goggins is Chris Mannix, a.k.a. “The Sheriff”
- Demian Bichir is Bob, a.k.a. “The Mexican”
- Tim Roth is Oswaldo Mobray, a.k.a. “The Little Man”
- Michael Madsen is Joe Gage, a.k.a. “The Cow Puncher”
- Bruce Dern is General Sanford Smithers, a.k.a. “The Confederate”
Moving on, here is the (in typical Tarantino movie fashion, fairly extensive) official synopsis for The Hateful Eight:
In The Hateful Eight, set six or eight or twelve years after the Civil War, a stagecoach hurtles through the wintry Wyoming landscape. The passengers, bounty hunter John Ruth (Russell) and his fugitive Daisy Domergue (Leigh), race towards the town of Red Rock where Ruth, known in these parts as “The Hangman,” will bring Domergue to justice. Along the road, they encounter two strangers: Major Marquis Warren (Jackson), a black former union soldier turned infamous bounty hunter, and Chris Mannix (Goggins), a southern renegade who claims to be the town’s new Sheriff.
Losing their lead on the blizzard, Ruth, Domergue, Warren and Mannix seek refuge at Minnie’s Haberdashery, a stagecoach stopover on a mountain pass. When they arrive at Minnie’s, they are greeted not by the proprietor but by four unfamiliar faces. Bob (Bichir), who’s taking care of Minnie’s while she’s visiting her mother, is holed up with Oswaldo Mobray (Roth), the hangman of Red Rock, cow-puncher Joe Gage (Madsen), and Confederate General Sanford Smithers (Dern). As the storm overtakes the mountainside stopover, our eight travelers come to learn they may not make it to Red Rock after all…
Hateful Eight, judging by its description, will be part Tarantino-esque vintage western genre homage, part Agatha Christie-style single location drama/thriller, where more than one character in the story has either a secret and/or hidden intentions for being trapped at Minnie’s Haberdashery. There may well be some flat-out murder mystery genre elements at play here, which would be new territory for Tarantino to explore as a filmmaker; at the same time, though, the film’s setup brings him back to his indie roots somewhat (a la Reservoir Dogs).
If nothing else, expects lots of colorful Tarantino-style dialogue, tense exchanges, stylistic flourishes and shout-outs to classic cinema, and (no doubt) more than a little bit of bloodshed. It’s not exactly an example of an auteur re-inventing their craft, but Hateful Eight is shaping up to be the sort of project that plays well to Tarantino’s strengths as an artist – and who knows, there might well be some surprises in store, along the way.
NEXT: The Hateful Eight Will Shoot in Colorado
The Hateful Eight is expected to open in theaters in late 2015.