The Hateful Eight, Quentin Tarantino’s latest, has been swamped with backstage drama. With the online leaking of the script followed by the threats of lawsuits and Tarantino’s ultimate refusal at first to even make the thing, the project looked moribund. Whatever the case, the project is certainly a go and top priority for The Weinstein Company. Today comes word that Jennifer Jason Leigh (Margot at the Wedding) looks to be signing on to play the female lead in period western, according to an exclusive dropped by The Wrap.
Leigh would portray Daisy Domergue, a female prisoner in the drama set in Wyoming following the Civil War. The story focuses on two bounty hunters, their target Daisy, and a local sheriff who must wait out a blizzard with four mysterious (and possibly dangerous) men. The film also is set to star Oscar nominee Bruce Dern (Nebraska) and Tarantino regulars Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction), Kurt Russell (Death Proof), Michael Madsen (Reservoir Dogs), Walton Goggins (Django Unchained), Tim Roth (Pulp Fiction), James Parks (Kill Bill), James Remar (Django Unchained) and Denis Ménochet (Inglourious Basterds.)
The part of Daisy was one of the most sought after roles. Allegedly Michelle Williams (My Week With Marilyn), Hilary Swank (The Homesman), Robin Wright (The Congress) and Demi Moore (Margin Call) were all courting for the part of Daisy at various stages. Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence had been rumored at one point and offering suggestions that the part may have aged a bit in rewrites. At the live reading of The Hateful Eight script at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art last spring, Amber Tamblyn (Two and a Half Men) read for the role of Daisy.
Long a queen of independent film, Leigh has marked an impressive thirty year-plus career working with legends including Robert Altman (Kansas City, Short Cuts), the Coen Brothers (The Hudsucker Proxy) and David Cronenberg (eXistenZ.) Leigh most recently appeared in the indie Hateship Loveship opposite Kristen Wiig this past spring, and the Beat generation drama Kill Your Darlings last fall. She will appear in a supporting role in the upcoming Welcome to Me opposite Wiig and James Marsden (that film made its world premiere at the 2014 Toronto Film Festival), as well as the horror entry Amityville: The Awakening and the fantasy Anomalisa from writer/director Charlie Kaufman.
The Hateful Eight is expected to hit cinemas sometime in 2015.