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Quentin Tarantino goes off on Disney over alleged ‘Star Wars’ extortion

Quention Tarantino Disney

It seems like you can’t go anywhere these days without seeing some sort of reference to or advertisement for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. While that’s exciting for most, it’s driving Quentin Tarantino crazy.

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In the days preceding the nationwide release of Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight on December 31, the film will be available in 70mm glory at a select number of theaters across the country. One of the theaters originally tapped to showcase Tarantino’s latest film was the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood. Only thing is, Disney pulled a few strings to ensure that it’s baby, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, could play there throughout the entire holiday season. In the process, The Hateful Eight was pulled from the theater’s schedule, and Tarantino is now furious to say the least.

Addressing the topic on Howard Stern’s radio show earlier this week, Tarantino said that Disney flat-out bullied Archlight Cinemas into kicking The Hateful Eight to the curb to make room for Luke Skywalker and co.

Tarantino, always an entertaining interview, didn’t mince words.

“It was real bad news and it really fucking pissed me off,” the famed director said. Later, Tarantino said that Disney was “going out of their way to fuck me.”

The entire back story, as told by Tarantino, reads as follows:

“We were gonna play at the Cinerama Dome on the 25th. We were gonna open there and play there exclusively for two weeks. And ‘Star Wars’ was gonna play the two weeks before us. I grew up in Los Angeles, so I think of the Cinerama Dome as a real big deal and imagine seeing it at the Cinerama Dome. So the thing about it was, Disney, who owns ‘Star Wars,’ decided ‘well, you know what? Maybe we wanna play throughout the entire holiday season.’ So, we’re gonna go to the Cinerama Dome and say that they can’t honor their contract with us to show the ‘Hateful Eight.’

And the Archlight people that own the Cinerama Dome said, ‘no, no, you can’t do that, we have a deal with The Hateful Eight people… As of yesterday, Disney came to the Archlight 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 honor 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 Archlight theaters…

It’s vindictive, it’s mean, and it’s extortion. They literally threatened the Archlight to do this.

Stern, for what it’s worth, seemed confident that Disney would resolve the issue once word of the problem reached the higher-ups at the company.  “You’re sitting on top of the world,” Stern said in an on-air statement directed to Disney CEO Bob Iger, who Stern said was a religious listener of the show. “You’ve got Star Wars. What, do you need this? Do me a favor Bobby, for me, Bobby be a gracious man.”

The full audio clip of the interview in question can be heard below.

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 15 years. A life long Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW. When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.