Mike Fleming

quenEXCLUSIVE: Here’s a bit of fun gossip surfacing in Golden Globes weekend. Whenever Quentin Tarantino completes a new script, it’s an event accompanied by great fanfare, partly because his scripts are so damned fun to read. The drums have begun beating on his next film. Here’s what I am hearing. None of it is entirely confirmed but I believe it. It is definitely a Western, and the working title I’m hearing is The Hateful Eight. Tarantino has finished a draft, and is in the process of showing it to a handful of actors he wants for the picture. He usually does this, gets feedback and goes back in and hones his work. I’m so far hearing he’s got two actors in mind.

bdernOne isn’t a surprise: Christoph Waltz, whom Tarantino helped transform from an Austrian character actor into a two-time Oscar winning star of Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained. The other name I’m hearing is Bruce Dern. I sure do hope the latter is true. Here is a guy who, at the age of 77 and after a career worth of distinguished mostly supporting performances, has emerged as a Best Actor frontrunner in Alexander Payne‘s Nebraska. I sat with Dern recently, and he is as razor sharp as ever and has an encyclopedic memory for Hollywood lore and his place in this world. This has made him the perfect candidate for a ‘comeback’– he is still so on his game — and a handful of directors who are resourceful in their casting like Payne and Tarantino are very astute in recognizing that. Tarantino likely has several months left to hammer out the shooting script so nothing gets finalized until then. At that point, Harvey Weinstein gets involved in funding it, most likely with a partner for foreign territories. Sony Pictures was the most recent partner, with Django Unchained, after Universal shared Inglorious Basterds with TWC. No comment from the principals on this, but stay tuned.