Quentin Tarantino to direct staged reading of 'The Hateful Eight'

Quentin Tarantino is going unplugged.

Having shelved plans to produce his script for the western "The Hateful Eight" after it was leaked online, the filmmaker will give fans a chance to experience it in the form of a live reading at LACMA on April 24.

The "Pulp Fiction" and "Django Unchained" mastermind will cast and direct the reading of the script, which is set in a saloon in the middle of nowhere after a blizzard diverts a stagecoach from its route, throwing together a mistrustful group including two competing bounty hunters, a renegade Confederate soldier and a female prisoner.

Elvis Mitchell, the film curator of Film Independent at LACMA, which is presenting the reading, said in an email that the event came about after he approached Tarantino about filling in for Jason Reitman, who conducts regular live readings at LACMA, while he was away on a shoot. The timing didn't work out, but Tarantino later suggested a staged reading of "The Hateful Eight."

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"I recovered consciousness and brushed myself off, and I said, 'Yes, I think I can fit that in,'" Mitchell said.

Tarantino made headlines in January when he mothballed "The Hateful Eight" after the script leaked and appeared online. After the Gawker blog Defamer posted download links to copies of the script, Tarantino sued the site for contributory copyright infringement, and Gawker replied, "We'll be fighting this one." A trial is set for January.

At the time of the leak he said was "very, very depressed" and now had "no desire to make it." The event will have a one-time-only feel: It will not be recorded or live-streamed, and no cellphones will be allowed in the theater.

Still, its staging suggests a film iteration isn't dead yet, and the director may even be testing the waters.

Attending the reading won't come cheap: Tickets are $200 apiece, with proceeds going to support Film Independent at LACMA.


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