Why Sony movie boss Tom Rothman didn't care how Quentin Tarantino and Harvey Weinstein worked together

  • For all of Quentin Tarantino’s filmmaking career to this point, he’d worked for one person: Harvey Weinstein.
  • But after the fall of the movie mogul following numerous sexual misconduct allegations, a Tarantino movie will soon be released by a studio for the first time, as Sony will open “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood.”
  • The chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Motion Picture Group, Tom Rothman, explained to Business Insider why he had no interest in knowing what it was that made Tarantino and Weinstein work so well for all those years.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

In the past, Quentin Tarantino only had one boss: Harvey Weinstein.

Through the companies Weinstein ran with his brother Bob, Miramax and The Weinstein Company, there was no other director who had unlimited carte blanche like Tarantino. From 1992’s “Reservoir Dogs” to 2015’s “The Hateful Eight,” Weinstein and Tarantino were linked to each other in Hollywood as they teamed on an incredible filmography.

But when Weinstein and the movie mogul persona he created crumbled following numerous allegations of sexual misconduct following an October 2017 New York Times piece, the man everyone knew around Hollywood as just “Harvey” became an outcast and Tarantino needed a new home for his future work.

Word had already spread before the fall of Weinstein that Tarantino was working on his ninth feature film, “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood” (in theaters Friday). But once it was clear Harvey would be effectively kicked out of the business, every studio in town began to scramble to get the next Tarantino movie.

(L-R) Quentin Tarantino and Harvey Weinstein.Ernesto Ruscio/GettyThe winner was Sony, which had an upper hand having done the international release of “The Hateful Eight” (The Weinstein Company handled the domestic release). And Tarantino’s new boss would be chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Motion Picture Group, Tom Rothman.

Rothman told Business Insider he had no interest in getting from Tarantino how the director and Weinstein worked well for all those years.

“I didn’t ask and I don’t really care, because I have a long history with working with big auteurs and I feel confident in how I go about doing that,”Rothman said in a wide-ranging interview.

Read more: Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood’ has added an end credits scene since its premiere

And the directors he has worked with form an impressive list: Steven Spielberg (“Minority Report,” “Lincoln”), Ang Lee (“Life of Pi,” “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk”), James Cameron (“Titanic,” “Avatar”), and Danny Boyle (“Slumdog Millionaire,” “127 Hours”) to just name a few.

“And I don’t think great filmmakers ‘answer’ to a studio,” Rothman added. “When the dynamic is good, there’s a partnership. Good directors take the feedback and then have the confidence and the strength in their own vision to make decisions, and that’s Quentin.”

It’s hard to predict if Rothman will have as long a run handling the movies of Tarantino as Weinstein did. Tarantino recently hinted that he’s considering retiring from directing, which Rothman said he doesn’t believe.

So, has he starting letting Tarantino know Sony wants to continue making movies with him?

“It’s already begun,” Rothman said.

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