Tarantino Rumored to be Retrofitting 50 Theaters with 70mm Projection for ‘Hateful Eight’ Release

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Hateful Eight
Photo: The Weinstein Co.

Test footage from Quentin Tarantino‘s The Hateful Eight was screened for an audience at the Paramount Theater this past Saturday, June 6, at Cine Gear Expo, showing off Tarantino and cinematographer Robert Richardson‘s use of 70mm film for the shoot.

The report comes from The Hollywood Reporter, which quotes Panavision’s vp of optical engineering Dan Sasaki saying, “[Tarantino] really wants to get people back into theaters. You’re not going to get this [at home]. He did something really great to bring that [experience] back… Quentin wanted an epic Western, something that hasn’t been seen in forever, that would really wow people. [When he saw this test,] he started bouncing in his seat.”

I can’t seem to find a confirmed number of U.S. theaters equipped to screen film in 70mm — I know the Cinerama here in Seattle has the capability and here is a list of non-U.S. locations — but according to The Hollywood Reporter “word on the street is that plans are underway to equip roughly 50 U.S. theaters to show the movie in 70mm film. Work is also being done to find the most precise way to create a digital version for digital cinema release.” Panavision, however, did not confirm the rumor.

Given that news isn’t yet confirmed you may be more interested to see the tweet below from cinematographer Bill Bennett who was in attendance and tweeted the below snap giving you a look at one of the test shots, displaying the film’s Ultra Panavision 70, 2.76:1 aspect ratio. Films presented in this ratio previously include Ben-Hur (1959), How the West Was Won (1962) and It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963). The Hateful Eight will be the first film shot in this process since 1966’s Khartoum and I’m wondering if our local Cinerama will be breaking out the Cinerama Curve to give us the proper project… I’d be shocked if they didn’t and I just sent an email to find out.