Following an announcement that he would shelve the film The Hateful Eight after the script was leaked around Hollywood,Quentin Tarantino is now taking legal action against a website he says was responsible for the leak.
The Oscar-winning director is suing Gawker for "blatant copyright infringement by their promotion and dissemination of unauthorized downloadable copies of the leaked unreleased complete screenplay." The suit charges that "there was nothing newsworthy or journalistic" about what the site did in allegedly sharing Tarantino's script. Gawker apparently refused to take down the filmmaker's writing even after being repeatedly asked to do so.
This past week, Deadline reported Tarantino had given the newly-written script to a very small circle of friends -- namely, frequent collaborators Tim Roth, Michael Madsen and Bruce Dern, along with Django Unchained producer Reggie Hudlin--only to have it leaked.
"I'm very, very depressed," he told the trade website. "I finished a script, a first draft, and I didn't mean to shoot it until next winter, a year from now. I gave it to six people, and apparently it's gotten out today."
The thought was that one of these people, or more likely one of their agents, was the source of the leak, but Tarantino admits that he doesn't know who it could be. All he knows is that the betrayal has led him to shelve the project and begin working on a new script.
The Hateful Eight was to be an ensemble western and the spiritual sequel to the 1960 classic The Magnificent Seven. The leak became apparent when Tarantino's agent was inundated with calls from talent agents looking to pitch their star clients.
Tarantino, 50, has directed eight films, all of which he has written, and has been nominated for four Oscars, winning twice (Django Unchained, Pulp Fiction). However, the acclaimed director has recently expressed interest in writing novels, and now says that the leaking of his script is the perfect opportunity to publish The Hateful Eight, either as a script or a novel.
But for those Tarantino fans who are massively disappointed that this project has been abandoned, don't lose hope just yet. Tarantino says that after the script or book is published, he may return to the idea of adapting it for the screen in a few years.
"I am not talking out of both sides of my mouth, because I do like the fact that everyone eventually posts it, gets it and reviews it on the net," Tarantino added of the blogosphere this past week. "Frankly, I wouldn't want it any other way. I like the fact that people like my sh**, and that they go out of their way to find it and read it. But I gave it to six motherf**king people! Starting this week, I'll be setting meetings with publishers."