Quentin Tarantino is among the most ardent cinephiles working in Hollywood today.
The man actually owns his own cinema.
So it's truly baffling to imagine a studio pitching the release of his 2015 western movie The Hateful Eight on the medium of the iPhone.
But according to a new profile of the one-time head of the Universal studio Jeff Shell, who is now the CEO of NBCUniversal, that's what happened.
Unsurprisingly, on hearing the suggestion, Tarantino, who shoots his movies on 70mm film, voted with his feet.
Per the WSJ: “Jeff Shell, at the time the head of the Universal studio, voiced his own pitch. ‘What if we released it on iPhones?’ he said. ‘Great,’ Mr. Tarantino replied, and stormed out of the meeting.”
To reiterate Tarantino's devotion to celluloid and the correct exhibition of movies, the director spearheaded a cadre of A-list directors in ensuring the future of film stock manufacturer Kodak in 2014.
He said during that same year at the Cannes Film Festival: “Why would an established film-maker shoot on digital? I have no f**king idea at all. Digital projection is death of cinema as I know it. It's television in public.”
His cinema, The New Beverly in Los Angeles, even has a no-digital policy in terms of the films that it exhibits.
“The big thing about what’s going to change now that I’m taking the theater over is, from here on in the New Beverly is only showing film,” Tarantino told Deadline.
“That’s it. No digital. If something’s playing at the New Beverly, if we’re showing it, it’s on film.”
Tarantino eventually took The Hateful Eight on a 70mm roadshow at 100 movie theatres around the US, perhaps the very opposite of releasing it on an iPhone.
He added to Deadline: “You can't even have an intelligent argument about it being bested by the digital stuff. There’s no intelligent argument to be had that puts digital, even the greatest Imax situation, in front of that.
“How that actually might be film’s saving grace. It might be film’s last stand. It might be film’s last night in the arena and actually conquer. We’ll see what the deal is.”