The goliath movie producers Disney and the influential American filmmaker Quentin Tarantino don’t quite go hand in hand, with both creative outlets operating on either end of the cinematic spectrum. Though, with a total monopoly over modern moviemaking, it was somewhat inevitable that the paths of both Disney and Tarantino would cross at some point.
As a purveyor and student of cinema, Tarantino hasn’t ignored the legacy of Disney either, even being directly inspired by the 1970 movie The Aristocats where he used an unlikely dancing scene as the inspiration for his iconic ‘Jack Rabbit Slim’s Dance Contest’ moment in Pulp Fiction between Mia (Uma Thurman) and Vince (John Travolta). Taking to the Graham Norton show, he commented: “When Mia twists, the image that I had in my mind was the Zsa Zsa Gabor cat from The Aristocats“.
However, whilst he may praise the golden age of the animation company, in recent years he hasn’t been Disney’s biggest fan, visiting The Howard Stern Show in 2015 to voice his displeasure about their endless screenings dominating the space of contemporary cinemas.
Resurfacing the internet due to a repeat of the practice with the release of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in 2022, Tarantino explained on the radio show how the release of the long-anticipated Star Wars reboot prevented his own film from flourishing. “So, we were going to play at the Cinerama Dome,” the filmmaker explained, further clarifying, “We were going to open there and play there exclusively for two weeks and Star Wars was going to play the two weeks before us”.
Releasing the seventh Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens in 2015, generations of baying fans were visiting the cinema en masse to check out the brand new instalment of the beloved franchise. Whilst this would have little impact on Tarantino’s film, released two weeks later, the director shockingly revealed, “Disney who owns Star Wars decided, ‘well you know what maybe we want to play throughout the entire holiday season’”.
Marching to the iconic Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, California, Disney demanded that the establishment couldn’t honour their contract with Tarantino and his new film, The Hateful Eight, in favour of the cinema showing the Force Awakens instead.
With all the money in the world, Disney still wouldn’t budge, stating, as Tarantino recalls, “If you honour 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 ArcLight movie theatres”.
Furious at the audacity of one of the most successful production companies of contemporary cinema, Tarantino seethed, “They are going out of their way to fuck me”. Calmed down somewhat by Howard Stern, the filmmaker concluded his thoughts by stating, “As far as I’m concerned, let all the entertainment reporters call up Disney, as of now, and ask for their comments about their extortionist practices”.
Though The Hateful Eight did eventually premiere at the Cinerama Dome, Tarantino has forever been soured by the experience, telling the NY Daily News, “I would never work with them in any way, shape or form after what they did to me”.