With more blood than you can swing a Hattori Hanzo sword at, Quentin Tarantino is back! After three hours and seven minutes of Southern accents, buffalo hides and raining bullets, you are guaranteed to leave Tarantino's eight film more than a little shell shocked. Lorded as one of the world's best directors and known for using the same actors as much as Ryan Murphy uses his American Horror Story alumni, Tarantino loves an ensemble. The Hateful Eight is sure to deliver on that level, with stellar stars such as Samuel L. Jackson and Kurt Russell at the forefront. But this being the Tarantinoverse, what if someone else has been pipped to the role? Here are some ideas for alternative actors from his vast repertoire who could have featured in his latest shoot 'em up.
Please note this is just for fun and I have no problems with any of the actual castings.
Michael Keaton as Kurt Russel aka 'The Hangman'
Where in the Tarantinoverse? : Ray Nicolette, Jackie Brown (1997)
You only have to look as far as Birdman to see that Keaton still has some pretty big acting bellows under his belt. After slipping from grace after his two film stint as Batman, Keaton walked away from the franchise for fear of being typecast. He later turned up as softly,softly, FBI agent Ray Nicolette in Jackie Brown. How could such a mild actor play John 'The Hangman' Ruth, arguably leader of the cast in Hateful? Look to ironically washed up actor, Riggan Thompson, in Birdman. Keaton has the rage and unhinged quality that is needed to take on the rest of the Hateful Eight, whilst also keeping track of...
Daryl Hannah as Jennifer Jason Leigh aka 'The Prisoner'
Where in the Tarantinoverse? Elle Driver, Kill Bill Vol.1 (2003), Kill Bill Vol.2 (2004)
If Hannah's turn as a one/ none eyed hitman in the Kill Bill saga doesn't convince you she is a bad ass bitch, then nothing will. She has the perfect diva quality to play sass-mouth Daisy Donaghue in Hateful. The catalyst of the whole film, it is Donaghue that brings the Eight to the cabin, inadvertently proving that the strangers have more in common than they thought. Look at Hannah's final showdown with The Bride in Kill Bill Vol.2 when she is left screaming in the dessert and see why she is Daisy Donaghue. The blonde bombshell has come a long way from playing a bathtub mermaid in 1984 fish fetish Splash.
Ving Rhames as Samuel L. Jackson aka 'The Bounty Hunter'
Where in the Tarantinoverse? Marsellus Wallace, Pulp Fiction (1994)
Bear with us on this one... Sure Jamie Foxx's turn as Django on Django Unchained was a lot better than expected and this was a hard one, but to play the character of Major Marquis Warren and go head to head with John 'The Hangman' Ruth, you need a little more experience... Enter Ving Rhames. Before churning out his sporadic appearances in the Mission Impossible films, Rhames played the big bad in 1994's cult phenomenon Pulp Fiction, striking fear into our hearts as gang boss Marsellus Wallace. He gained a taste of his own medicine in the toe curling 'bring out the gimp' scene, but ultimately ended up a (slightly) redeemed character. Rhames has that macho essence needed for Hateful, especially for the 'blowjob' scene, and without Samuel L. Jackson, we can't see anyone else.
Eli Roth as Walter Goggins aka 'The Sheriff'
Where in the Tarantinoverse? Sgt. Donny Donowitz, Inglorious Basterds (2009)
One of the biggest let-downs of Nazi romp Inglorious Basterds was a over cramped cast with little exploration. Roth played boogeyman 'The Bear Jew', legend amongst the German ranks as a man with a penchant for cracking Nazi skulls open. Despite the exciting premise, he was reduced to a bit part and bowed out in the fiery explosion in the cinema finale. Roth has the slightly geeky, awkward, quality to play hopeless sheriff Chris Mannix in Hateful. Part of the group of directors known as 'The Splat Pack', Roth has directing credits on horror staples such as Cabin Fever and the Hostel series. It must be fate, as in an early homage to Tarantino, Roth won an award for his student film Restaurant Dogs - a parody of the Tarantino debut Reservoir Dogs.
John Travolta as Michael Madsen aka 'The Cow Puncher'
Where in the Tarantinoverse? Vincent Vega, Pulp Fiction (1994)
Do you know what a cow puncher is? Nope, me neither! Michael Madsen's role as the typical stoic cowboy wasn't dissimilar to his gruff Budd in Kill Bill. In a mini Vega Brother's reunion, how about John Travolta stepping into the role? Admittedly Travolta would probably add a slightly more comedic edge to cowboy Joe Gage, but maybe that is what it needed? Madsen slipped silently into the background and wasn't exactly the most memorable part of Hateful. As for John, before his fluctuating weight and dip in Scientology, Travolta was one of Hollywood's leading hearthrobs. Appearing as Danny Zuko in Grease, he went on to lead Pulp Fiction as dangerous hitman Vincent Vega. Travolta wasn't in fact Tarantino's first choice as Vincent and the part had originally been written for Madsen... Perhaps it is time he got his revenge.
Michael Fassbender as Tim Roth aka 'The Little Man'
Where in the Tarantinoverse? Lieutenant Archie Hicox, Inglorious Basterds (2009)
The stiff British upper lip accent and slightly sinister smile means Michael Fassbender is a great match for Oswaldo Mowbray, the British toff of Hateful. Tim Roth's nicer than pie approach to the local hangman seemingly covers an ulterior motive of the character, a balance Fassbender knows all too well after playing Magneto in the new X-Men films. An understatement of Inglorious Basterds, Fassbender only arrived two thirds of the way in and didn't stick around for very long. This being said, his acting in the cellar scene and leader of Operation Kino makes for a memorable cameo. He is pretty much everywhere at the moment, so why not return to Tarantino?
Danny Trejo as Demián Bichir aka 'The Mexican'
Where in the Tarantinoverse? Razor Charlie, From Dusk Til Dawn (1996). Machete, Grindhouse (2007)
Although technically not in the Tarantinoverse, the man himself did write the screenplay, so we will let this one slide. If you need a typical rough and ready Mexican, then chances are you will turn to Danny Trejo. I was actually shocked he wasn't the fit to play shifty proprietor of Minnie's Haberdashery in Hateful. Trejo is the star of two (yes they made a sequel), Machete films. A Robert Rodriguez gore-fest which follows Trejo as a Mexican Federale mixed up in a drug war. Trejo has had bit parts in a whole host of underground cult films and shows, including Con Air, Sons of Anarchy and The Devils Rejects. Look out for another Machete... Machete Kills in Space COMING SOON
Michael Parks as Bruce Dern aka 'The Confederate'
Where in the Tarantinoverse? Earl McGraw, From Dusk Til Dawn (1996), Kill Bill Vol.1 (2003), Grindhouse (2007). Esteban Vihaio, Kill Bill Vol.2 (2004). LeQuint Dickey Mining Co. Employee, Django Unchained (2012)
What would a Tarantino western be without Michael Parks? Well you probably wouldn't notice, but his character of Earl McGraw has been popping up for 20 years, making him one of the rare longest surviving characters. In Kevin Smith's horror Red State he played psychopathic church leader Albin Cooper. It is for this performance as a misogynistic, racist, homophobic that would inspire a casting as General Sandforth Smithers. The retired General is a key piece of the background, but staple of Minnie's Haberdashry, he has some choice words for Major Warren and the two share more than a few intimate details. Parks should hang up his Sheriff's hat and turn to the general's uniform.
BONUS: Leonardo DiCaprio as Channing Tatum aka ???
Where in the Tarantinoverse? Calvin Candie, Django Unchained (2012)
No stranger to the Wild Wild West with his new film The Revenant, we just couldn't pass on the chance to have Mr. DiCaprio play another Southern accent. As wise cracking plantation owner Calvin Candie, he stole the show in Django Unchained. Originally meant to be a sequel to Django, Tarantino had been planning The Hateful Eight for years. It is only fair that Leo gets thrown in to the mix. Whilst Channing Tatum may be a late (and secret) addition to the cast, it is an important role in the finale. DiCaprio could finally even get that elusive Oscar he has been after.