Quentin Tarantino is due to begin shooting his next project, titled Hateful Eight, in January 2015; that means he will be finalizing the cast for the film over the next few months. Samuel L. Jackson and Kurt Russell are expected to reprise their roles from the Hateful Eight live-script reading earlier this year – “The Bounty Hunter” and “The Hangman,” respectively. Beyond that, though, it’s not clear which (if any) members of Tarantino’s trusted acting group will appear in his new movie.
The New York Daily News claims that “a confidenti@l spy” saw Tarantino meeting up with Viggo Mortensen in Tribeca, where the pair discussed characters from a developing project – meaning, the filmmaker may be eying the Lord of the Rings trilogy star for one of the eight central roles in his latest western genre throwback. Naturally, given the source of the information, you should take this news with a healthy grain of salt; not to mention, just because Quentin met with Viggo, that doesn’t guarantee the duo will, in fact, end up working together.
Mortensen, however, is the sort of well-versed character actor that would most likely be interested in working alongside Tarantino (and vice versa), if the right circumstances presented themselves. The Oscar-nominated actor have proven he prefers intimate, character-oriented movies over spectacle-heavy fare with his recent film choices, and Hateful Eight is very much the former – a literary-minded story, where most of the action is restricted to a single setting with the characters talking (until things eventually turn ugly, anyway).
Hateful Eight starts off following Jackson and Russell’s characters, who are transporting a prisoner named Daisy Domergue, when they wind up trapped by a blizzard in an isolated saloon, along with a handful of other colorful, but not necessarily trustworthy, personalities. According to the NYDN report, Tarantino spoke to Mortensen about a “ruthless gang leader” role; of the confirmed main characters in Hateful Eight, there are a handful that such a description could, in fact, apply to, depending on how they’re portrayed in Tarantino’s latest script draft.
It’s possible nothing will come of the rumors surrounding Hateful Eight‘s casting – such as the Mortensen story and claims that Jennifer Lawrence has been approached to join the cast. Nonetheless, they’re certainly interesting to consider, and suggest that Tarantino is looking to continue his fine practice of putting together casts that mix his trusted collaborators (Jackson, Russell) with notable A-listers (Brad Pitt in Inglourious Basterds, Leonardo DiCaprio in Django Unchained, etc.).
Hateful Eight is slated to reach theaters by Fall 2015.