'The Hateful Eight' Poster Is A Winter Wonderland & Here's Everything We Know About The New Tarantino Film So Far

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The Hateful Eight is hurtling forth at full speed ahead, finally. Quentin Tarantino's forthcoming western got a new poster on Monday, and it's the latest in a string of exciting reveals about the movie which almost didn't get made. The eighth film from the notorious director is set to release on December 25, 2015 — Christmas Day, and while the poster isn't exactly festive, it sure is wintery. It shows a heavily mustachioed bounty hunter John Ruth aka "The Hangman" (played by Kurt Russell) leading his prisoner Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh), who Ruth is bringing to justice, traveling through Wyoming. And boy, they really do look hateful. Probably because their stagecoach ride just got delayed in a heavy blizzard, and now they have to seek shelter on foot, eventually ending up at Minnie's Haberdashery, where they meet the rest of the sinister eight.

The upcoming film is the first from the director since he released the sensational Django Unchained in 2013. Though The Hateful Eight does take place "some time after the Civil War," Tarantino has said time and again that it is not a sequel to Django. The film is set to be one of Tarantino's most epic yet, not only for its sprawling scenery and cast of colorful characters, but because it's the Tarantino film that almost wasn't, and it has its very own lawsuit. Here's everything we know about The Hateful Eight so far:

It's His Eighth Film, But It Almost Didn't Happen

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The Hateful Eight is a film with a checkered production past. It's the eighth feature-length film from Tarantino, who is know for the volatile and dramatic, so it's no surprise that he's almost called off the project. In January 2014, the film's script was leaked by someone in a "close circle" that Tarantino trusted enough with the material. After learning that it had leaked online, Tarantino shelved the project, saying that he was "very, very depressed." "That's a betrayal," the director told Deadline, saying that one of the actors' agents must have leaked The Hateful Eight online. Later in January, Tarantino filed a lawsuit against Gawker Media for publishing the leaked script, though he dismissed the case voluntarily in May of 2014 and went ahead with the project. Maybe he was just trying to prove a point?

In April of 2014, the director held a live-reading of The Hateful Eight's script at the Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, with a stage full of the film's stars to a packed audience's delight. "I'm working on a second draft and I will do a third draft, but we’re reading from the first draft,” the director told the crowd of more than a thousand at the reading. He was wearing a cowboy hat. Samuel L. Jackson, Amber Tamblyn and Bruce Dern were among the movie's top-billed stars that were at the reading.

Production went ahead on the project, with filming scheduled to begin in September 2014, though it was pushed back to January of 2015, when the Weinstein Company announced that filming had officially begun, not in Wyoming, where the story takes place, but in Telluride, Colorado.

The What, Where, And When Of This Western

Hateful Eight is a good-old fashioned spaghetti western, with a Tarantino twist. The story of the titular eight takes place in Wyoming a few years after the Civil War, and follows "eight strangers stranded by a blizzard that soon discover they share a deadly past," according to the first graphic teaser trailer. The scene we see in Monday's new poster is John Ruth, aka "The Hangman," a bounty hunter played by Kurt Russell leading his prisoner, a dangerous woman named Daisy Domergue, played by Jennifer Jason Leigh, through a violent snow. Their stagecoach overturned in a blizzard, and they travel towards Red Rock, where they will seek shelter at Minnie's Haberdashery, where they will encounter a cast of dark strangers; there's bloody history that those folks have brought to Minnie's, and cabin fever will surely reveal that darkness in time.

It's Got A Killer Ensemble Cast

The Hateful Eight has an ensemble cast that would make any movie buff weak in the knees. At Comic-Con in July, Quentin Tarantino gave his fans a near aneyurism when he surprisingly screen seven minutes of footage from the film specifically for the event, a generous abbbreviated narrative of how all the film's main characters meet each other. The eight that are so hateful in the old, wild west: Kurt Russell as John Ruth, "The Hangman;" Jennifer Jason Leigh as Daisy, "The Prisoner;" Samuel L. Jackson as another Major Marquis Warren, "The Bounty Hunter;" Walton Goggins as Chris Mannix, "The Sheriff;" Demián Bichir as Bob, "The Mexican;" Tim Roth as Oswaldo Mobray, "The Little Man;" Michael Madsen as Joe Gage, "The Cow Puncher," and Bruce Dern as General Sanford Smith, "The Confederate." And that's just the main lineup—supporting cast includes James Parks, Zoe Bell, Amber Tamblyn and Craig Stark.

Best casting, though, goes to Channing Tatum. Yep, Channing Tatum moved from Magic Mike XXL to a Tarantino Western. What a time to be alive.

It Will Have A December Release

Perhaps as an act of goodwill for making fans wait so long for the film, Tarantino is releasing The Hateful Eight for a limited release on December 25, 2015. At that point, it will have been nearly a full two years since the announcement of the film in January 2013. The wait seems like it has been a saga in itself.

The Score Will Be Authentic Western

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One of the most exciting bits of news that Tarantino announced at Comic-Con is that legendary composer Ennio Morricone will score The Hateful Eight: "It will be the first Western score for the prolific Morricone in 40 years and reunites the two after some harsh words were apparently smoothed over after their collaboration on Django Unchained." The Oscar-nominated composer is known as the king of spaghetti westerns, and has scored some of the best, including The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly.

It Might Be One Of Tarantino's Last Films

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Or he could be bluffing, but the director is certainly unpredictable. Last November at a Q&A at an American Film Market event, Tarantino said he wanted to go out while he was still on top, telling Deadline he planned to retire after completing his 10th film: "I like the idea of leaving them wanting a bit more... I like that I will leave a ten-film filmography, and so I’ve got two more to go after this. It’s not etched in stone, but that is the plan." I thought you had a plan to shelf The Hateful Eight, though, huh Tarantino? And we demand Kill Bill 3. You promised.

It Looks Amazing

Despite the drama, it looks like Tarantino is going to deliver with The Hateful Eight. Both of the promotional posters look incredible, and so does the first teaser trailer. The film is also sure to be a visual treat—Tarantino chose to shoot The Hateful Eight in 70mm, to give it a more authentic, western feel. It's going to be a snowy bloodbath, and I can't wait to see the gunslingers in action. It's sure to be wild.

Images: Getty