Writer and director Quentin Tarantino holds his Oscar for Original Screenplay- "Django Unchained" backstage at the 85th Academy Awards at the Hollywood and Highland Center in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles on February 24, 2013. UPI/Jim Ruymen | License Photo
Quentin Tarantino has canned plans for what he hoped would be his next film after a first draft of a script leaked.
Instead, the director will publish the script of The Hateful Eight, a western, and revisit making it a movie in the next few years. He said he found out about the leak when his longtime agent, Mike Simpson, began fielding phone calls from actors' agents hoping to snag a part in the Django Unchained helmsman's next blockbuster.
"I'm very, very depressed," Tarantino said in a phone call with Deadline's Mike Fleming, Jr., Tuesday. "I finished a script, a first draft, and I didn't mean to shoot it until next winter, a year from now. I get it to six people and apparently it's gotten out today."
“I gave it to one of the producers on Django Unchained, Reggie Hudlin, and he let an agent come to his house and read it,” Tarantino said. “That’s a betrayal, but not crippling because the agent didn’t end up with the script."
"There is an ugly maliciousness to the rest of it. I gave it to three actors: Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern, Tim Roth. The one I know didn’t do this is Tim Roth. One of the others let their agent read it, and that agent has now passed it on to everyone in Hollywood."
"I don’t know how these [expletive] agents work, but I’m not making this next. I’m going to publish it, and that’s it for now. I give it out to six people, and if I can’t trust them to that degree, then I have no desire to make it. I’ll publish it. I’m done. I’ll move on to the next thing. I’ve got 10 more where that came from.”
While Tarantino said he suspects someone at CAA, who would have gotten it through Dern's camp, Fleming says CAA sources "vehemently" deny they were the source of the leak.
Fleming said he "spent most of the call trying to talk Tarantino out of dumping the project," and added that Tarantino promised Dern would get another shot at a role in whatever film -- Tarantino was understandably sketchy on the details -- he writes next.
Still, the director said he was bullish that The Hateful Eight would eventually find its way to the screen.
“I could totally change my mind; I own the [expletive] thing," Tarantino said. "But I can tell you, it’s not going to be the next thing I do. It’s my baby, and if the muse calls me later to do it, we’ll do it. I was thinking about the idea of maybe publishing it before I made it, but now that deal happens for sure, and I’m not doing it next.”