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Ennio Morricone on scoring 'The Hateful Eight': Quentin Tarantino 'left me completely free'

The legendary composer goes inside the making of the Oscar-nominated ‘The Hateful Eight’ score.

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Ennio Morricone was honored last week when he won a Golden Globe for scoring Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, and on Thursday morning he picked up his sixth Oscar nomination for Best Original Score for the work. 

Tarantino has used Morricone’s compostions in his earlier films and first tried enlisting the legendary composer for original work to accompany his 2009 film Inglourious Basterds, but Morricone, who has never won an Oscar, was booked. “I would have been really, really, really sorry to have said no this time, again,” Morricone tells EW of signing on for The Hateful Eight. That Tarantino had used his pieces in movies like Death Proof and the Kill Bill films was important to Morricone, though. “[It] showed that he appreciated what I did in the past.”

The partnership was ideal for the maestro: “He trusted me so much. He left me completely free to compose my music,” he says. “This is totally different from some of my past experiences. Some directors wanted me just to do once again what they have already [heard before] and I had to really force them to accept my idea, because I wanted to do something that belonged to me, something that was coming from myself.”

Tarantino did have one specific request: he wanted to use some of Morricone’s score for The Thing. “When Quentin Tarantino mentioned that he wanted to use some of [that music], I let him free to choose among all the pieces I had written for John Carpenter that were never used in that movie,” he remembers. He afforded Tarantino the same freedom he was offered, to choose whichever piece of music he liked best from the film, asking just one thing in return: “To select something that was consistent with the music I had composed nowadays.”

Via a statment, Morricone said he is humbled by his nomination. “To work with such a brilliant young director at my age gives me great pleasure,” he said via a statment. He was just one year old when I wrote my first score for Sergio Leone for A Fistful of Dollars. It is also a deep honor and very humbling to receive this prestigious award nomination for doing the profession I love.”

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