Several weeks ago, Quentin Tarantino was giddy with excitement about his latest script, The Hateful Eight, which is another western, and he was reportedly talking to Bruce Dern about a role in it. Then he decided to shelve the project because he found out the script leaked, which with any Tarantino screenplay is bound to happen.
Now he’s taking the extra step of hiring Hollywood pitbull litigator Martin Singer in suing Gawker for putting up links to the script. According to several reports, the lawsuit accuses Gawker of “predatory journalism.” Mad dog Singer’s brief continues, “Rather than merely publishing a news story reporting that Plaintiff’s screenplay may have been circulating in Hollywood without his permission, Gawker Media crossed the journalistic line by promoting itself to the public as the first source to read the entire Screenplay [sic] illegally.”
Frankly, we at TGD think Tarantino’s being a baby, per usual, and shelving the project is cutting off his nose to spite his face. Script leaks happen all the time, and all it takes to shut them down are cease and desist orders. The Avatar treatment was all over the place for years, but once Cameron finally got the project up and running the treatment quickly vanished all over the net.
Not to mention anyone who knows Tarantino’s history is aware of the stories of his thieving the work from other people, including his close friends, so he’s not exactly innocent in this regard. (Nor is he innocent in “betrayal,” as a lot of his relationships, professional and personal, have ended badly as a result of his behavior.)
This whole situation could have been handled much better, and from here on out Tarantino would be wise to do things the Lucas way, which is let people come over to his house, read one copy there, and don’t let copies out until it’s absolutely necessary, or only allow actors to see their roles in the script. Spielberg, Lucas and JJ Abrams are usually extremely good in keeping things from getting all over the net, Hitchcock was especially good at keeping secrets long before there ever was an internet, and if Tarantino wants to avoid this in the future, he may have to take these kinds of steps, which to many may seem paranoid, but they’re par for the course in Hollywood.