Quentin Tarantino claims Disney forced LA cinema to ditch ‘The Hateful Eight’ for ‘Star Wars’

Director accuses Disney of 'engaging in extortionist practices' to maximise the film's success

Quentin Tarantino has accused Disney of “engaging in extortionist practices” to ensure that Star Wars: The Force Awakens reaches as many cinema screens as possible.

The director’s epic western The Hateful Eight was apparently due to debut at Hollywood’s ArcLight Cinerama Dome on Christmas Day. However, Tarantino has now claimed that the Mouse House forced his film of the well-located Los Angeles cinema.

Explaining why he is “pissed off” with Disney, the director said during a US radio interview: “A couple of days ago, not the Star Wars people, but the Disney distribution people came down to the ArcLight and said, ‘No, you’re going to break your commitment with The Hateful Eight. You’re going to not give them the theatre on December 25. You’re going to play Star Wars throughout the holiday season. And if you don’t, we’re going to pull Star Wars – the biggest movie ever made – we’re going to pull it from all the ArcLight theatres.'”

“So they actually literally are engaging in extortionist practices against us,” the director claimed. “They’re coming out to destroy us, to grind us into the gravel.”

During the interview, Tarantino also made clear that despite his issues with Disney, he regards J.J. Abrams, director of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, as a “very friendly colleague”. Disney has yet to respond to Tarantino’s accusations.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens, tipped to become the highest-grossing movie ever made, opens in UK cinemas and select US theatres today (December 17) before going on general release across the US tomorrow (December 18). Read what the critics are saying about J.J. Abrams’ film here.