The guitar that Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) played while singing "Jim Jones at Botany Bay" was a priceless antique from the 1870s, on loan from the Martin Guitar Museum and worth some $40,000. At the end of the song, the script called for John "The Hangman" Ruth (Kurt Russell) to grab the guitar and smash it to pieces. Six replicas were built for the shoot, and were supposed to be substituted for the real instrument for the smashing shot, but due to a miscommunication, Kurt Russell was not informed, and destroyed the original guitar before anyone could stop him. Jennifer Jason Leigh's shocked reaction to this is genuine, and can be seen in the released film. The Martin Guitar Museum subsequently announced they would never loan guitars to film shoots again.
After the script leaked online, Writer and Director Quentin Tarantino did not want to make this movie. However, after they did a brief reading of the script in Los Angeles, the cast was stunned and got excited for the film, and with Samuel L. Jackson persuading him to do this movie, Tarantino accepted.
Writer and Director Quentin Tarantino said that some of Ennio Morricone's compositions for the film are the unused scores for The Thing (1982). Kurt Russell was the star in that movie.
At one point, Joe Gage (Michael Madsen) says, "A bastard's work is never done", which was the tagline on the poster for Inglourious Basterds (2009).
The song sung by Daisy was performed by Jennifer Jason Leigh live on-set. The soundtrack for the film features the song, along with the sounds of the wood being hammered into the door, and dialogue by Kurt Russell.
Writer and Director Quentin Tarantino announced at Comic-Con in 2015 that Ennio Morricone would compose the score for the film. Tarantino remarked that it would be the first western scored by Morricone in forty years. He had previously used Morricone's music in Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004), Death Proof (2007), Inglourious Basterds (2009), and Django Unchained (2012). Morricone also wrote a brand-new song, "Ancora Qui", for the latter. Despite stories of tensions between the two, Tarantino decided to have Morricone on-board to compose original music for the movie, making it the first film by Tarantino to use mainly an original musical score. Most of his previous films have used mainly source music, with only a few cues of original score.
According to Writer and Director Quentin Tarantino, his two primary cinematic influences on the film were The Thing (1982) and Reservoir Dogs (1992). Even though Tarantino wrote and directed the latter film, it regardlessly remained an influence on his later work.
As of 2015, most theaters worldwide had their film projectors replaced with digital projectors, as traditional film stock was no longer in favor. As a fan and supporter of celluloid, Writer and Director Quentin Tarantino aggressively fought with distributors for the film to be shown in its original Ultra Panavision 70 presentation. As a result, fifty theaters internationally were retrofitted with anamorphic-lensed 70mm analogue film projectors to display the film as he intended it to be seen. It was released on December 25, 2015, as a roadshow presentation, in 70mm analogue film format theaters exclusively, before being released in digital theaters on December 30, 2015.
Despite being their sixth collaboration as actor and director, this was the first time Samuel L. Jackson received top billing in a film directed by Quentin Tarantino.
Composer Ennio Morricone was quoted as saying he would never work with Quentin Tarantino, after how his music was handled on Django Unchained (2012). He ultimately changed his mind and he agreed to score this film.
Unfortunately for the production, during the scheduled shooting dates on-location in Telluride, Colorado, there was a long streak of nice weather. Large fans and starch, and large overhead sunblocks, were used in many of the outdoors blizzard shots to try to re-create a blizzard. A large amount of the much-needed snow melted away, and production was placed on hiatus. As a fun attempt to try to get more snow, many of the cast and crew members, including Quentin Tarantino, Samuel L. Jackson, and Kurt Russell, participated in a local "ski burn", making an offering to the "snow gods" to try to get it to snow. Coincidentally, or, maybe not so coincidentally, a couple of days later, a big storm came in, and dumped enough snow to enable filming to continue.
There are three subtle references to Django Unchained (2012) in the film. First, when Major Warren is introduced, he is sitting on top of three corpses and a saddle that was previously owned by Django. The second is Django's green corduroy jacket, which is sitting on the floor of the Minnie's Haberdashery. Both of these references have been confirmed by Samuel L. Jackson. Third, Walton Goggins' character is called a "hillbilly" in both films. In fact, this film was going to feature Django, but Quentin Tarantino scrapped the idea.
Only the eleventh film to be shot in the Ultra Panavision 70mm process (65mm film with 1.25x squeeze anamorphic lenses, for an aspect ratio of 2.76:1). A film has not used this extremely rare process since Khartoum (1966), nearly fifty years before. This also makes it Quentin Tarantino's second film, after Jackie Brown (1997), to not be filmed in the 2.39:1 format.
At times, the cast and crew worked in a refrigerated set, in which the temperature was thirty degrees Fahrenheit (-1 degrees Celsius).
According to Quentin Tarantino, this film was his metaphoric way of breaking down his feelings about The Thing (1982). For example, the way he felt watching it for the first time in a movie theater.
The Weinstein Company spent eight to ten million dollars to find, procure, rebuild, and install 70mm analogue film projectors, and to train the two hundred projectionists needed to operate them in the ninety-six U.S. theaters (eighty thousand dollars plus, per location) that showed the roadshow version of this film.
This film was the sixth collaboration between Quentin Tarantino and Samuel L. Jackson.
Pre-production was halted in early 2014 after the script was leaked on-line. Quentin Tarantino stated he would no longer shoot it as a movie, but would re-write it and release it as a novel instead. However, production was resumed in early 2015.
Early test screenings had a runtime of over three hours, and included an intermission.
This film's 70mm roadshow version is a "heavyweight" in more ways than one. The analogue film is spooled on twenty reels, with a combined running time of three hours and seven minutes, and weighs in at over two hundred fifty pounds.
During the development stage, Christoph Waltz was rumored to be up for the executioner, but it was always intended for Tim Roth.
In the original script, the character of Bob was supposed to be a Frenchman, not a Mexican.
Ennio Morricone said in an interview that he accepted Quentin Tarantino's request to score the film, because he liked the script, and because Tarantino gave him full freedom in the composition. Morricone said he considers the film an adventure movie, rather than a Western, and as a result, he tried to make the music sound completely different from his famous Western scores. He based the music on the feelings that the script evoked in him, rather than composing music for specific scenes. Because Morricone had only about a month to produce his score, he added several pieces of music that he had originally written for The Thing (1982), some of which had never been used. Morricone finally gave Tarantino five pieces of music, which he could use in the movie as he pleased.
According to the written script, the characters of Minnie and Sweet Dave became acquainted with one another as slave and owner, before the Civil War. Sweet Dave once had Minnie as a slave, but they somehow stayed together after the abolition of slavery, for unknown reasons. It could be speculated that Sweet Dave was secretly in love with Minnie, or that he helped her purchase land to start her own business, as a way of paying her reparations for keeping her enslaved in the past. It is believed that Quentin Tarantino has left the audience to make up their own theories about the connection between Minnie and Sweet Dave.
Quentin Tarantino explained in interviews, only after the film was released, that the very earliest concept of what became this story, was a sequel to Django Unchained (2012), he began as a novel called "Django in White Hell". However, he did not get far with the novel, before he realized that it didn't work to have a character whose morals were known to the audience beforehand, nor a character you felt was fairly sure to survive. Tarantino withheld this trivia from interviews, until after the film's release, because he was already contesting false reports that the movie would be a sequel to "Django Unchained", and didn't want to further muddle early public expectations. This is also why, in the wake of the script's leaking on-line, he was considering taking the story back to novel form, when he considered cancelling production.
For the most part, the roles of Major Warren, John Ruth, Oswaldo, and Joe Gage were written with Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Tim Roth, and Michael Madsen in mind. The role of Daisy Domergue was less specific, and many actresses were considered before Jennifer Jason Leigh was cast. Quentin Tarantino said, "Daisy became one of the most interesting characters, because she's on the page, but she's not on the page; an actress literally needs to invest in playing that character from beginning to end. They have to get you to that last chapter. It had to be an actress I could trust, and also a performer you enjoy watching her character work. When Jennifer came in, she was very impressive in the reading, but what really got me, was I'd just started watching a bunch of her movies. I had a whole Jennifer Jason Leigh film festival. I watched one, and I couldn't wait to put the next one in, she was such an entertaining actress, especially about that time in the 90s, like eXistenZ (1999), Georgia (1995), and especially Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle (1994). Those movies were built around her. Her performance was the center of the movie, and everything was built around that, and that's what was needed for Daisy."
The Thing (1982) was the only film that director Quentin Tarantino showed to the cast.
Viggo Mortensen was in talks for the character of Jody Domergue, but had to decline due to scheduling conflicts. Josh Brolin was rumored to have been up for a major role, but nothing came of it.
The song Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) sings when she plays the guitar is an Australian folk song called "Jim Jones at Botany Bay".
The name of the stagecoach line "Butterfield Overland Stage" is the same as in 3:10 to Yuma (1957).
The gory special effects were courtesy of The Walking Dead (2010)'s special effects guru Greg Nicotero, who also contributed to Quentin Tarantino's other films: Inglourious Basterds (2009), Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003), Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004), and Django Unchained (2012).
The name of Major Marquis Warren is a tribute to Writer and Director Charles Marquis Warren, who specialized in westerns (for example, Little Big Horn (1951) and Arrowhead (1953)) and also contributed in excess of two hundred fifty articles of pulp fiction to various magazines.
Kurt Russell's John Wayne impersonation was quite deliberate; at one point, his character utters the line, "That'll be the day!", which was the famous catchphrase of Wayne's character in The Searchers (1956).
Out of the featured cast, only Jennifer Jason Leigh, Demián Bichir, Gene Jones, and Channing Tatum had not worked with Quentin Tarantino before.
Contrary to the implication made by Six-Horse Judy (Zoë Bell), and the statement of Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh), driving six horses with a stagecoach is easier than two or four.
According to an October 12, 2015 Variety Magazine interview with Quentin Tarantino, the 70mm roadshow cut of the movie is three hours and seven minutes long, making it his longest individual film (although the two parts of "Kill Bill" are four hours and eight minutes combined). The version released in other formats, meanwhile, removed the twelve-minute overture and intermission, and six minutes designed for the spectacle of 70mm projection, reducing the length to a minute under Django Unchained (2012).
Despite the reddish canyons of Wyoming being referred to as "the Red Rocks", there is no real town called "Red Rock" in the entire state. It is an entirely fictional town made up by Quentin Tarantino. However, there is a "Red Rocks" in Colorado, where the film was shot.
"Mexican Bob" was also a character name in True Grit (1969). He is a member of the Ned Pepper gang.
Panavision made a two thousand-foot film magazine (double the standard size) for the film's Ultra Panavision 70mm cameras, to accommodate Quentin Tarantino's penchant for long takes.
In the script's first draft, which was leaked, the Abraham Lincoln letter is only brought up once in the stagecoach, and is never mentioned again. In interviews, Quentin Tarantino explains that he always intended to make more of it than that, but wasn't ready yet. He wanted to spend more time with the material, and let the story slowly evolve in the two subsequent drafts that would follow.
The film used Panavision anamorphic lenses with an aspect ratio of 2.76:1, an ultra-wide ratio that was used on a few movies in the 1950s and 1960s, such as Raintree County (1957), Ben-Hur (1959), Mutiny on the Bounty (1962), It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963), The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965), and Khartoum (1966).
Misty Upham originally had a part in Django Unchained (2012) as a character named "Minny" who owned the bar in which Christoph Waltz and Jamie Foxx drink in the film. The role was deleted, and eventually the character showed up in this film, also owning a type of public house. After Upham's death, the role was kept in the film, as an homage to her, but was re-cast.
Michelle Williams, Robin Wright, Geena Davis, Evan Rachel Wood, Hilary Swank, and Demi Moore were all considered for the role of Daisy Domergue before Jennifer Jason Leigh was officially announced. Jennifer Lawrence was rumored to have been considered, but her reps denied it. Katee Sackhoff read for the role, and was a strong contender, but it was eventually decided that she was too young.
The movie itself was shot on 65mm film, employing the same lenses used to shoot the chariot race in Ben-Hur (1959).
In April 2019, Netflix released the extended edition of this movie which exceeds 3 hours. But instead of it being a long movie it was broken into 4 episodes about 50 minutes long each
On September 26, 2014, the state of Colorado signed an agreement to fund the film's production with five million dollars. The film was to be shot entirely in southwest Colorado. A nine hundred-acre, high-mesa ranch had been loaned to the production for the filming. There was a meeting on October 16th, in which the county's planning commission issued a permit for the construction of a temporary set. Principal photography began on December 8, 2014, in Colorado on the Schmid Ranch near Telluride.
Marks the widest U.S. release (ninety-six theaters) of a 70mm film, since Ron Howard's Far and Away (1992). In comparison, The Master (2012) had a limited U.S. release on only sixteen screens.
The film was nominated for three Golden Globes almost a month before its wide release--Best Screenplay for Quentin Tarantino, Best Original Score for Ennio Morricone, and Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Jennifer Jason Leigh.
On December 19, 2015, a week before its limited release, this film, along with fellow Oscar-contenders Brooklyn (2015), Carol (2015), Creed (2015), The Revenant (2015), Room (2015), and Straight Outta Compton (2015), had a screener copy leaked on-line. Within the first twenty-four hours of the leak, the film had attracted 569,153 unique IP addresses.
Referenced in advertising and the film's title sequence as Quentin Tarantino's eighth film. This list includes: (1) Reservoir Dogs (1992), (2) Pulp Fiction (1994), (3) Jackie Brown (1997), (4) Kill Bill, (5) Death Proof (2007), (6) Inglourious Basterds (2009), (7) Django Unchained (2012), and (8) The Hateful Eight. However, this list features some caveats such as the exclusion of his early, incomplete film My Best Friend's Birthday (1987), and his segments guest-directing in Four Rooms (1995) and Sin City (2005). Kill Bill is also considered to be only one film in this context, as it was intended to be so during production, and Death Proof (2007), while a part of Grindhouse (2007), stands on its own as a feature.
The choral music playing after Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson) boards the stage to Red Rock is Ennio Morricone's "Regan's Theme" from Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977).
The film cast includes five Oscar nominees: Tim Roth, Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Dern, Demián Bichir, and Jennifer Jason Leigh.
While Christoph Waltz was never intended for the Oswaldo Mobray role as rumored, it is said that Quentin Tarantino offered Waltz an opportunity to be a part of this film, to which Waltz declined.
The song played over the end credits, "There Won't Be Many Coming Home", was sung by Roy Orbison for the only film in which he had a starring role, The Fastest Guitar Alive (1967). That film also starred an actor named Sammy Jackson.
The Pipe smoked by Kurt Russell is an Italian Pipe, a unique piece made by hand in Pesaro by the 'Mastro de Paja' company. The actor bought it in a Tobacco Shop in Santa Monica, so it is his personal smoking pipe. After the pipe appeared in this movie, Mastro de Paja renamed this model 'Il Boia' (the hangman, in Italian language).
Kurt Russell and Jennifer Jason Leigh appeared in Backdraft (1991). Coincidentally, both of their dads, Bing Russell, and Vic Morrow, respectively, appeared on the television series Combat! (1962).
It may be interesting to note that Quentin Tarantino had expressed a strong disliking of Natural Born Killers (1994), which he originally wrote, and according to a book written by Jane Hamsher about that film, Tim Roth and Steve Buscemi turned down a role in it. It was to play Wayne Gale, and they turned it down as Tarantino said he would never cast them again if they took it. Buscemi has not been cast again as of 2018, even though he didn't take the role in Natural Born Killers (1994).
Panavision's Dan Sasaki collaborated with Schneider Optics, to design and produce one hundred Ultra Panavision projection lenses, that would ultimately be needed for the retrofitted roadshow theaters across the U.S. and Canada.
The "You gotta hang mean bastards" quote is a reference to "Sonny" Shin'ichi Chiba's The Street Fighter (1974).
The film had its world premiere at a private screening in São Paulo, Brazil on November 23, 2015, with only select journalists in attendance. Quentin Tarantino and Tim Roth were in the country promoting the movie.
According to details written in the script, Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson) and John "Hangman" Ruth (Kurt Russell) were in their late fifties or early sixties. Additionally, Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) is around thirty-five to forty, and Sheriff Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins) was written to be in his early thirties.
Oswaldo Mobray (Tim Roth) was nicknamed "The Little Man". In Inglourious Basterds (2009), Private Smithson Utivich has this nickname.
Warren's story about having sexually assaulted Smithers' son is similar to Dennis Hopper's monologue to Christopher Walken in True Romance (also written by Tarantino) about how Sicilians are the descendants of black Africans who bred with their female ancestors. Both speeches play on the racism of the listener in order to provoke a violent reaction from them.
Not only did Ennio Morricone do the soundtrack for Italian Westerns that Quentin Tarantino was inspired by for this Western, but he scored The Thing (1982), which also starred Kurt Russell, was about a small group of people in a location with extremely cold weather, and was a major inspiration for this film.
The song "Now You're All Alone" used in the film, is from the soundtrack of The Last House on the Left (1972).
In The Simpsons: Singin' in the Lane (2017), there is a montage clip titled "The Hateful Eight-Year-Old", where Bart is shot in Reservoir Dogs (1992)-style with Little Green Bag playing in the background.
In Spain, the "Roadshow Experience" version was only released in one theater (Barcelona), released in Ultra Panavision 70mm, and only in a Castilian-subtitled version.
Kurt Russell and Michael Madsen have played an Earp brother. Russell as Wyatt Earp in Tombstone (1993), and Madsen as Virgil Earp in Wyatt Earp (1994).
Joe Gage (Michael Madsen) mentioned that he was traveling to Red Rock to see his mother for Christmas, suggesting that the movie takes place in early to mid December.
Quentin Tarantino announced in a "Deadline" interview, that he would not be making the film after the script was leaked on-line, saying that he had "ten more" projects from which to pick instead.
John "The Hangman" Ruth (Kurt Russell) was mistakenly called "Bob" by another character in this movie and Death Proof (2007).
John "The Hangman" Ruth (Kurt Russell) calls Joe Gage (Michael Madsen) "son". The two actors' ages are only seven years apart in real-life. They were born in 1951 and 1958, respectively.
Quentin Tarantino's trademark involving a character appearing with bare feet does not appear in this film just as Reservoir Dogs (1992). Both films are centered in just one location.
Samuel L. Jackson appeared in Jurassic Park (1993) with Bruce Dern's daughter, Laura.
Of the 17 cast members (not including Tarantino himself) only 4 have not worked with Tarantino: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Demián Bichir, Gene Jones, and Channing Tatum. Of the 13 who have, 10 appeared in Django Unchained (2012).
The movie is two hours and forty-eight minutes long (three hours with intermission).
The film's cast features three Marvel Cinematic Universe villains: Tim Roth (The Abomination from The Incredible Hulk), Walton Goggins (Sonny Burch from Ant-Man and the Wasp), and Kurt Russell (Ego the Living Planet from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2). Furthermore, the film features Samuel L. Jackson, who portrays Nick Fury in the MCU, meaning half of the titular eight have been in the MCU.
Samuel L. Jackson played an American Civil War veteran. He also played one in The Legend of Tarzan (2016).
Quentin Tarantino: [Red Apple Cigarettes] Characters smoke the Red Apple brand of tobacco, also called Manzana Roja. Red Apple cigarettes appear in multiple Tarantino films, as a way to avoid endorsing real products, and perhaps to indicate that the films take place in the same universe.
Quentin Tarantino: [racial slur] In the roadshow version, the "n" word was used sixty-five times, which is a little over half the use in Tarantino's previous film Django Unchained (2012), which is said to hold the record for the movie with the most uses of the "n" word. In the general release, one scene between Sheriff Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins) and General Sanford Smithers (Bruce Dern) was removed that used the word seven times, reducing the count to fifty-eight. Of the main characters, Joe Gage (Michael Madsen) is the only person not to say it.
Quentin Tarantino: [testicles] This is Tarantino's fourth (and third in a row) movie where a character is shot in the testicles.
Quentin Tarantino: [long take] When Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) plays and sings the song, it is all done in one shot.
Quentin Tarantino: [trunk shot] While riding in the stagecoach on the way to Minnie's Haberdashery, John Ruth elbows Daisy in the nose. The camera then switches to the classic "trunk shot" view, in which characters are observed, as if the camera was placed in a trunk looking upwards at the characters, as they look down.
Quentin Tarantino: [hands performing actions in close-up] The hands of the person spiking the coffee and also Bob's while playing the piano.
Quentin Tarantino: [unconventional storytelling devices and interjections] The movie has the chapter format, and contains an elaborate flashback.