Again, the actual appearance of “The Hateful Eight” screenplay on the internet wasn’t just unsurprising, it was wholly expected. This was the fifth Tarantino script in a row to get out early, and was predictably riddled with spelling and grammatical errors. So why was this time different enough to compel the filmmaker to call up Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr. and announce that he was postponing production for perhaps as long as five years?
Unlike the previous scripts, this one was a first draft. It wasn’t finished.
“I’m very, very depressed,” Tarantino told Fleming. “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.” According to Tarantino, he’d given the screenplay to six people, all former collaborators. He named four suspects: Tim Roth, Bruce Dern, Michael Madsen, and Reginald Hudlin.
Tarantino immediately absolved Hudlin of this particular offense, though he wasn’t thrilled that the “Django Unchained” producer had let an agent read the script at his house. “That’s a betrayal,” said Tarantino, “But not crippling because the agent didn’t end up with the script. There is an ugly maliciousness to the rest of it.”