Quentin Tarantino’s earliest films felt like they existed in a time outside of time. The L.A. of Pulp Fiction, for instance, was trapped in some superfly twilight zone between ’40s gangster noir, ’60s and ’70s cool, and ’90s modernity. In his last few films, however, Tarantino has dived deep into a specific historical milieu, transposing his exploitation riffs into Nazi-occupied France for Inglourious Basterds and the antebellum South for 2012’s Django Unchained. The first trailer for The Hateful Eight, identified as the director’s eighth film in the video embedded above (guess they count Kill Bill as a single film?), doesn’t hesitate to revel in its own historicity, either.
All of the required Tarantinoisms are on full display in the trailer, from the byzantine dialogue to the wink-wink casting (tapping Western stalwart Bruce Dern for this throwback to the genre’s heyday is, in no small way, the ultimate QT move) to the guns being drawn under tables. But many of the trailer’s more unexpected delights come from that which is new to the auteur’s style: the unanticipated laugh when we see that Tarantino newcomer Jennifer Jason Leigh takes her impending execution less than seriously, the paradoxically beckoning and foreboding snow-covered woods, and of course, the diverse menagerie of robust creative facial hair. In the future, Kurt Russell’s muttonchops will be dipped in bronze and preserved forever alongside Dorothy’s ruby slippers and the Maltese falcon statuette. It’s times like this that makes us wish YouTube had an option right above 1080p, so that we might watch the trailer in glorious 70mm, as Tarantino intended. Alas, the faint glow of a laptop screen will have to suffice until the film’s limited release on Christmas, and following wide release on January 8, 2016. Keep scrolling for our full reproduction of the film’s press release:
In THE HATEFUL EIGHT, set six or eight or twelve years after the Civil War, a stagecoach hurtles through the wintry Wyoming landscape. The passengers, bounty hunter John Ruth (Russell) and his fugitive Daisy Domergue (Leigh), race towards the town of Red Rock where Ruth, known in these parts as “The Hangman,” will bring Domergue to justice. Along the road, they encounter two strangers: Major Marquis Warren (Jackson), a black former union soldier turned infamous bounty hunter, and Chris Mannix (Goggins), a southern renegade who claims to be the town’s new Sheriff. Losing their lead on the blizzard, Ruth, Domergue, Warren and Mannix seek refuge at Minnie’s Haberdashery, a stagecoach stopover on a mountain pass. When they arrive at Minnie’s, they are greeted not by the proprietor but by four unfamiliar faces. Bob (Bichir), who’s taking care of Minnie’s while she’s visiting her mother, is holed up with Oswaldo Mobray (Roth), the hangman of Red Rock, cow-puncher Joe Gage (Madsen), and Confederate General Sanford Smithers (Dern). As the storm overtakes the mountainside stopover, our eight travelers come to learn they may not make it to Red Rock after all…
The Hateful Eight hits cinemas December 25, 2015.