Tarantino Does Battle With Disney (But Not Star Wars)
During an interview yesterday morning with Howard Stern, Quentin Tarantino reluctantly opened up about a feud that’s been brewing between him and Disney over the release of Star Wars. While he makes it clear that he has nothing against J.J. Abrams (a friend, who he worked with on Alias) or the Star Wars franchise, he’s feeling a little steamed with Disney over the company’s decision to pressure ArcLight Cinemas to drop The Hateful Eight from the Cinerama Dome, in favour of more Star Wars: The Force Awakens screenings.
According to Tarantino, The Weinstein Company made a deal with the iconic theatre many months ago, as it is one of the only locations in the area that is properly equipped for the film’s exclusive 70mm roadshow engagement from December 25th to December 31st. In fact, The Hateful Eight opens with the Cinerama logo. However, Tarantino says Disney stepped in at the last minute and sabotaged the deal. “As of yesterday, Disney came to the ArcLight people and said, ‘No, you are going to play Star Wars in the Cinerama Dome for the entire holiday season and if you don’t, if you honour your deal with The Hateful Eight, we will not allow you to have Star Wars, the biggest movie in the world. We will not allow you to show it at any of your ArcLight movie theatres.’”
With only one theatre at stake, this might seem like a tempest in a teapot, but Tarantino’s roadshow release plan—which has more to do with showmanship than commerce—would be severely diminished without the Cinerama Dome, an important symbol of the large format tradition he’s reviving. With all that in mind, Stern concluded the interview by calling on his friends J.J. Abrams and Disney’s Bob Iger to “make this right.” Tarantino seemed genuinely touched by this gesture, but it seems unlikely that he will emerge with the outcome he’s looking for.
You can listen to Tarantino’s latest Stern interview below: