After learning Tuesday that his script for The Hateful Eight was leaked, Quentin Tarantino did what any butthurt child would do: he decided to cancel the movie.
Tarantino became aware of the script leak when his agent began getting calls from interested stars looking to be cast in the ensemble western. He then called Mike Fleming Jr. at Deadline so he could make his anger public:
"I'm very, very depressed," Tarantino said. "I finished a script, a first draft, and I didn't mean to shoot it until next winter, a year from now. I gave it to six people, and apparently it's gotten out today."
So who leaked it? Detective Tarantino lined up the suspects:
"I gave it to one of the producers on Django Unchained, Reggie Hudlin, and he let an agent come to his house and read it," Tarantino said. "That's a betrayal, but not crippling because the agent didn't end up with the script.
With Hudlin the betrayer out of the lineup, Tarantino then narrowed the investigation on the talent:
I gave it to three actors: Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern, Tim Roth. The one I know didn't do this is Tim Roth. One of the others let their agent read it, and that agent has now passed it on to everyone in Hollywood. I don't know how these fucking agents work, but I'm not making this next. I'm going to publish it, and that's it for now. I give it out to six people, and if I can't trust them to that degree, then I have no desire to make it. I'll publish it. I'm done. I'll move on to the next thing. I've got 10 more where that came from."
10 more ideas! You hear that, awful-person-who-isn't-Tim Roth? Take that!
Luckily for Bruce Dern, Tarantino actually believes the CAA agent who reps him—not Dern himself—is behind the leak. However, Deadline spoke to sources at CAA who deny the leak came from their office. The CAA source told Fleming that Tarantino himself is probably behind the leak:
They noted that a problem is that Tarantino possibly dispersed the script himself, without a watermark that usually prevents someone from secretly dispersing the screenplay. Because of that, this is an unsolvable breach. It would be difficult to prove anyway, because if an agent asked an assistant to copy a script, and that assistant shared it with peers at other agencies, and it suddenly found its way to a blogger, the agent would not even know they'd unwittingly put the screenplay into circulation.
Like any good reporter, Fleming spent his phone call with Tarantino trying to get to the heart of the mystery. The mystery of seeing The Hateful Eight, that is. "I must admit, I spent most of the phone call trying to talk Tarantino out of dumping the project," wrote Fleming. "I want to see the movie, and I truly want to see the 77-year-old Dern get another chance to shine in a killer lead role after his brilliant turn in Nebraska." Screw Tarantino. Can we please think about Fleming's needs? What will Deadline do if they can't kiss Tarantino's ass this year? This is a real disaster for so many in the industry.
Ultimately, Tarantino asks Fleming for his help in finding the script leakers and "naming names." So watch out, CAA agents and assistants, Tarantino is coming for you. In the meantime, if anyone would like to name names or leak the script to us, please do so at firstname.lastname@example.org.