Quentin Tarantino is reportedly suing US website Gawker Media after a draft script to his follow up to the Oscar-winning Django Unchained was leaked online.
The maverick film maker claims he was left “very, very depressed” when links to the script of The Hateful Eight appeared on Gawker’s Defamer blog. Describing the leak as a “betrayal”, he has suspended work on the project and, according to the Hollywood Reporter, has now filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles.
Tarantino previously claimed he gave copies of script to six people, including the Reservoir Dogs stars Michael Madsen and Tim Roth, and the veteran actor Bruce Dern. Tarantino also named Reggie Hudlin, a producer on Django Unchained, as one of the six. The director has since said he has discounted Roth as a suspect.
Suspicions intensified last Thursday after a link to the script appeared under on Gawker’s Defamer blog under the title: "Here Is the Leaked Quentin Tarantino Hateful Eight Script". It quickly gathered momentum on social media, even prompting speculation that it was a carefully-orchestrated pre-publicity stunt.
That version of events was dismissed on Monday after Mr Tarantino’s lawyers claimed that Gawker has made a “business of predatory journalism, violating people's rights to make a buck". Extracts from the lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles, said: “Rather than merely publishing a news story reporting that Plaintiff's screenplay may have been circulating in Hollywood without his permission, Gawker Media crossed the journalistic line by promoting itself to the public as the first source to read the entire Screenplay illegally."
The director of Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs has reportedly suspended work on the film and is considering releasing it as a book. He told the entertainment website Deadline that because he could not trust the six confidantes he showed the script to and that he "no desire to make it. I'll publish it. I'm done."
A spokesperson for Gawker told The Hollywood Reporter that they were yet to see the lawsuit.