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Tarantino, why bother suing over an incomplete script?

QuentinTarantino.jpgSo you'll all know that Quentin Tarantino was writing a script called The Hateful Eight and was reportedly close to finishing and that the project had the potential to be the his next film. The rest of the news is also public knowledge, especially now.

Someone got hold of his script, passed it to a rather large website who published it online, Tarantino got upset and a law suit followed. Tarantino said he wouldn't make the film because of it and everyone was unhappy. Well, fans were.

I can understand why he was so angry and wanted retribution, it is his work and he wants to hold onto it until it's fit for human consumption, but was suing the right thing to do? Has he just wasted everyone's time including his own and has he lost focus on what he wanted to do from the beginning?

That question seems especially true when the judge in the case has just granted the motion of the website Gawker, who published the script for the as yet unmade The Hateful Eight, to dismiss the case because Quentin Tarantino failed to, as the quote from The Hollywood Reporter story states…

"…adequately plead facts establishing direct infringement…"


Just thinking of the way that Tarantino is you could probably see how he could adequately give a court and a judge the argument they need to uphold his suit. However, that's not really a problem and chances are that Tarantino had a lawyer to do all this. He wasn't sitting up in court delivering his excited film related speeches, even if he was you could imagine that winning over a court as he just has a way of capturing the imagination of anyone he's talking to.

Anyway, this paragraph, like the court case itself, is a bit of a sideshow, and that's the problem I have with all this. Quentin Tarantino was on course to deliver a new film and from all accounts it was going to be a bit of a corker, then his script is leaked and he turns his attention away from the film and towards the internet.

Why do I think he shouldn't be so concerned? Well scripts are leaked online all the time but how many people really read them? I tend to read leaked scripts only after I've seen the film. Even with Prometheus (Filmstalker review) I held off reading the Jon Spaihts version of the script until I had seen the final film. If you were a true Quentin Tarantino fan would you hold off reading the script until his film had come out? I would, and I have. Wouldn't you?

So while this was going on instead of buckling down and changing the script Tarantino decided to try and take the website to court and be distracted from what he should be doing, or rather what he loves doing, making films.

The funny thing is that now the case has been dismissed Tarantino has had a script reading of the film, something that lets people know what's in the script, and then has settled down and started to talk about rewriting the script to deliver a new version of the film. It's really what he should have done as soon as the script was leaked but also it's actually worked out well for him, given him a platform to market the film before the script was ready and before he's had to rewrite it. Now the hype has helped him decide that he has to make the film and deliver it.

Of course I don't agree that scripts should be leaked online, it's someone's work and it can be a hell of a lot of work, and in the case of a writer\director it's also an incomplete work, even if the script is finished they still have to take the script to the screen.

Yet Tarantino could have just let it go, asked Gawker or the company hosting the site to drop the script and move on. Rewrite it, ride the publicity, and carry on. If he had could he have shaved a few months off the time of the new version of The Hateful Eight yet to arrive?

What's worse for those awaiting The Hateful Eight is that Tarantino and his lawyer have been granted an amount of time to appeal the dismissal, or rather they can bring the case forward again and present a stronger one to convince the judge.

I really do hope that Tarantino writes that script off, lets it sit in the public domain and then head forward with all eyes focussed on delivering The Hateful Eight, after all that's what we really want from all this isn't it?




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Movable Type 3.34

Prosecutor: Doctor, can you give the Court your impression of Mr. Striker?
Dr. Stone: I'm sorry. I don't do impressions. My training is in psychiatry.
- Airplane II: The Sequel