It didn’t take long for the leaked first draft of Quentin Tarantino’s now-scrapped Western The Hateful Eight to start circulating around the Internet. Over at Badass Digest, Devin Faraci posted the first page of the action and pointed out a significant detail: The first line establishes the location (“EXT. — WHITE WINTER WYOMING MOUNTAIN RANGE — SNOWY DAY”), and the second reveals Tarantino’s big plans for his shooting format: “A breathtaking 70MM filmed (as is the whole movie) snow covered mountain range.” He cites his format twice more on that page alone, hyperventilating over “this big 70MM SUPER CINEMASCOPE FRAME” and “big super CINEMASCOPE 70MM filmed gloriousness.”
Tarantino keeps referencing the scope throughout: On page 37, he sets the scene with “We see the white winter wonderland landscape of trees and rocks and snow banks go rolling by in GLORIOUS 70mm SUPERSCOPE.” SuperScope actually isn’t the same thing as CinemaScope, but you get the idea: Tarantino was excited about using the film stock, which has a high level of detail as an appropriate trade-off for the cost. Those kind of all-caps interpolations are normally used to introduce characters, important settings, and objects; Tarantino’s use suggests he thought of the format as a character itself.
Besides repeatedly emphasizing how good big exteriors look in 70mm (“The sun’s out and it’s amazing looking in 70MM SUPERSCOPE”), Tarantino also brings in the format during a particularly brutal scene midway through the film, when a black Union major describes how he killed the son of a racist white Southern Confederate general by forcing the young man to strip in the snow, then demanding oral sex in exchange for a blanket, which he never provided. As the major lovingly describes this scene, it plays out onscreen in what’s described twice, in all caps, as “BIG WIDE 70MM SUPER CINEMASCOPE.” Like P.T. Anderson, using 70mm in The Master (distributed by the Weinstein Company, as Tarantino’s film likely would have been), Tarantino seemed to be excited about using the normally epic format to establish a scale on outdoor settings, but also to heighten the claustrophobia of a movie that spends about half its time inside a cabin called “Minnie’s Haberdashery.” But since the script leaked and Tarantino shelved it, we’ll never know now, will we?